Jay Hanson, the lone career auditor among U.S. audit regulators, made an abrupt departure from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board just before the holiday break.
The PCAOB issued a bare-bones statement indicating Hanson had informed the board that he submitted his resignation to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The statement contained none of the normal accolades that typically accompany such an announcement, much less a reason for his departure.
Hanson was appointed to a first term at the PCAOB in January 2011, and was appointed to a second term that was to continue through October 2018. He spent more than 30 years at audit firm McGladrey & Pullen, serving as national director when he accepted the appointment to the PCAOB.
Hanson broke with tradition at the PCAOB recently when he voted against a measure to approve the board's budget for 2016, although the nature of the disagreement on its face didn't seem that dramatic. Commissioner Michael Piwowar at the SEC also voted against approving the PCAOB budget.
The SEC will be tasked with filling the vacancy created by Hanson's resignation, although the SEC is experiencing some turnover of its own. Chair Mary Jo White is leaving at the end of 2016, and two other vacancies there have been left unfilled in the waning days of the current presidential administration. The SEC also has not acted to reappoint PCAOB Chairman James Doty, who was appointed at the same time as Hanson in 2011 has continued to serve despite being unappointed when his term expired in 2015.