A Conversation with Gene Procknow

We had the opportunity to meet with Gene Procknow, the Managing Director of Deloitte's U.S Federal Government Services, on October 20, 2009. He conversed with us about the integration with BearingPoint, including the company morale, as well as his recent collaboration and partnership with Robin Lineberger, the CEO of Deloitte’s U.S Federal Government Services.  He also shared with us that he is quite the history wiz. Click on the video below to hear more about his history expertise.

It's really getting the power of our combined entity working together. – Gene Procknow

ExecutiveBiz: Can you tell us what your current role is?

Procknow: I'm moving into the position of a Federal Market Leader, and in this position I have responsibility for our go to market efforts including coordinating our lead client service partners in the marketplace, as well as our marketing and business development activities.

ExecutiveBiz: It has been announced that Robin Lineberger will be the CEO of this, can you talk about that?

Procknow: Robin is responsible for coordinating all of our services for the federal government including coordinating all of our functions.  We operate four functions: tax, management consulting, accounting/auditing, and financial advisory services.

ExecutiveBiz: How is the integration going with the BearingPoint effort?

Procknow: It's going well.  We started off with a champagne moment where we got a lot of euphoria around the acquisition and then we got down to hard work.  Bringing the organizations together is a lot of work and it raised some issues.  We've resolved most of those issues and now we are moving forward as one entity and that has led to a spectacular end of government year sales results for Deloitte.

ExecutiveBiz: What would you say your top priorities are for the next twelve to eighteen months?

Procknow: It's really getting the power of our combined entity working together.  We've retained over 4,500 new people ““ that's a lot of new creativity, a lot of new talent and a lot of things that we can leverage.  We are going to look at how to leverage that resource across a broader set of clients and how to add resources from Deloitte.  There is a lot of opportunity that we have yet to mine.

ExecutiveBiz: What are some of the trends you are tracking that your customers are worried about?

Procknow: One of the things we are finding out is that former BearingPoint clients are expressing more confidence now that the teams are in a secure stable organization ““ they are expressing more confidence in our team and adding more tasks and adding more funding to their contracts.  It is really rewarding to see.  Through this last government fiscal year end, none of the BearingPoint recompetes have been lost.  That is impressive in this marketplace.

ExecutiveBiz: How would you describe your management style?

Procknow:  We're a partnership so partners run the business and our job as leaders is to help other people succeed.  That's our culture and that's what leads to success.  We are not a top down organization.  We are not an organization that is necessarily directive.  As a partnership our view is to help each other to succeed and that is our real key management philosophy.

ExecutiveBiz: How have the employees handled this transition?

Procknow: Fairly well.  Our turnover each month has gone down which is pretty impressive.  We actually had to re-recruit all of the BearingPoint team and over 98% of the people that we made offers to accepted.  Most of those people are still with us today of those people are with us today.

ExecutiveBiz: What would you say your biggest challenge in business is today?

Procknow: I think the key thing is to figure out where the next opportunities are and the white space.  I think we've got some good ideas around cybersecurity.  We are organizing to attack that marketplace.  That is a very growing need in the federal government to be able to protect the country's information assets from attack.  That is something we see as a mission that we can really help.

ExecutiveBiz: I know that you have Harry Raduege onboard and maybe you can talk about his role and what area in cyber security (offensive side, defensive side) that you think there is an opportunity?

Procknow: Harry runs our Center for Cyber Innovation.  He is a tremendous asset for us because ,as the former Head of DISA, he understands the need and the capabilities of the government to defend against cyber attack.  You mentioned both offensive and defensive and certainly the government is working on both of those issues as you might expect.  Our focus is to help the government in its mission so we would work at both areas.  However we are starting to see across a broader set of commercial clients also the need to help in the cyber security area and that area.

ExecutiveBiz: What is something most people don't know about you personally?

Procknow: I am a history buff.  I like to draw parallels from history to today and use lessons from history.  Our leadership change has a parallel to Lewis & Clark.  One of the most successful partnerships in all time history is between Lewis & Clark.  That would be emblematic of the partnerships that we form at Deloitte.  Today does anybody know who the leader was of that expedition?  Was it Lewis or was it Clark?  I can tell you it was Lewis but that expedition would not have been as successful without the leadership of Clark.  That's what happens at Deloitte–we work together to further our partnership here.  We are not looking here for individual glory.

ExecutiveBiz: Was there anything you would like to add?

Procknow: One of the key things for us is that this is never going to be done.  We are going to continue to acquire organizations.  We are going to continue to grow and expand.  We are going to grow two or three x the market rate of growth in this marketplace.  We see a lot of opportunity with the Federal government and we are going to continue to acquire companies.

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