Excellence in Public Sector
Gene Procknow has been with Deloitte for more than three decades, so when the firm asked him to write a business case detailing how the firm should re-enter the federal marketplace, “I should’ve known something was up,” he says.
The firm liked Procknow’s proposal so much they asked him to implement it. In 2004, he moved from Boston to Washington D.C. to launch the practice. That first year, revenue of Deloitte’s U.S. Federal Government Services practice totaled about $60 million. Today, it’s a $1.6 billion practice.
Of course, a lot has changed since 2004. One of the biggest—and most aggressive moves—was buying BearingPoint’s Public Sector practice in 2009. As one might imagine, the move launched an intense nine-week period for Procknow, “I think I worked every single day during that time,” he says. “It was one of those monumental periods in a career. It was a tremendous opportunity both personally and for the firm. It propelled the entire practice forward.”
Procknow was responsible for brining some 4,200 new staff members onboard in two days at 36 sites. Today, the practice has more than 6,150 practitioners serving more than 50 federal agencies and departments. “It was a real game changer,” he says. “Plus, we retained 100 percent of BearingPoint’s clients. It was a pretty amazing acquisition. Most mergers don’t end this way.”
As far as the practice as a whole, it’s probably not surprising, Procknow says, that cost reduction will carry the day in Washington. “In a lot of ways, we’re bringing to Washington what the private sector has been doing over the last 20 years.”
A good example is the work Procknow did while serving on the GTO-21 Commission, which provided cutting-edge technology solution to President Obama. “It’s really important as government puts together its IT acquisition policy that they get input from industry,” he says.
“Helping the government with this mission is among the most difficult, challenging and rewarding work of my career,” he says. “The management issues are more difficult and more satisfying to deal with than many of the private sector engagements of the past. Plus, there’s the added benefit of seeing the impact.” —J.K.