2005 Honorary Degree
Joe W. Forehand, Jr.
Joe W. Forehand, Jr. has distinguished himself as a leader in the field of management consulting and is known worldwide for his highly ethical business practices.
He retired last August as chief executive officer of Accenture, one of the largest management consulting companies in the world, but remains its chairman of the board, working out of offices in Irving, Texas.
Born and raised in Alexander City, Ala., Forehand earned his bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University in 1971 before coming to Purdue University and earning his master's degree in industrial administration in 1972.
Forehand's first job out of Purdue was in the Atlanta office of Andersen Consulting. He became a partner in 1982 and has led 11 of the company's 18 industry groups over his 32-year career.
In 1999, Forehand was named chief executive officer and, in 2000, he orchestrated the successful conclusion of the company's arbitration process with Andersen Worldwide. Soon after, the company changed its name to Accenture and undertook the largest global rebranding campaign of its kind. In 2001, he led Accenture through a public offering, one of the largest in U.S. history.
Under his watch, the company shifted from a conventional consulting model to one emphasizing business consulting, technology leadership and outsourcing. Accenture grew from $9.6 billion in revenue with 66,000 employees in 1999 to $13.7 billion and 103,000 employees in 2004, operating out of 110 offices in 48 countries.
In recognition of his leadership, Information Week named Forehand one of the top 15 Most Inspirational Figures in the information technology industry in 2001. Also that year, he was named the No. 1 Most Influential Consultant by Consultant Magazine. He was named one of the top 25 executives for 2001 by CRN Magazine.
Forehand also is a member of the Hands On Network Advisory Council, which advises the Hands On Network as it seeks to extend and enhance volunteer and civic action through corporate participation.