Du Plessis, who retired as chair of BT Group in May 2021, has a track record of leading FTSE 100 companies, having previously served as chair of both mining group Rio Tinto and multinational drinks company SABMiller.
The role has been vacant for 18 months following the resignation of previous chair Simon Dingemans in May 2020, just eight months after taking up the role.
If formally appointed following a pre-appointment scrutiny hearing with MPs on the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee next year, Du Plessis will serve a four-year term in the role. An accountant by training, Du Plessis is a dual citizen of the UK and South Africa.
He would start the role at a time of major transition for the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as it gears up to transform into the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA) - a new regulator charged with reforming the audit market with more powers to hold companies to account.
Commenting on the news ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza said he was pleased to hear Du Plessis announced as the preferred candidate, and that he was looking forward to working with him to drive forward audit and corporate governance reform.
Announcing Du Plessis’ candidacy, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said he was “perfectly placed to ensure strong oversight of UK plc” due to his direct experience leading some of the UK’s most prominent companies.
“Restoring public confidence in audit and corporate governance will be crucial to our recovery from the pandemic, and I hope to work with Jan towards this goal.”
FRC CEO Jon Thompson added that he was looking forward to working closely with Du Plessis as the FRC transitions to ARGA.
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