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Meet our alumni

We are proud of the successes of our Alumni and their contributions to a diverse range of businesses.

Stephen Shelton

Stephen Shelton

Vice President - Chief Audit & Compliance Officer at Fossil Inc.

Working with vision

During a recent conversation, Stephen Shelton reflects on his time at PwC and shares his journey to becoming a Fortune 500 leader.

What were your early years like?
I'm a native Ohioan. I grew up in Columbus. I attended high school in Cleveland. I went to college in Toledo. And from a pretty early age, I worked — delivering newspapers, mowing lawns. My parents instilled in me the importance of education and a strong work ethic, which I think has served me well.

How’d you get from Ohio to Texas, where you’re based today?
I always had a desire to see the world. So when I got the opportunity to work in the then-emerging field of IT audit with an airline, which was really at the frontier of IT audit innovation at that time, it seemed like a great opportunity—one that matched my desire to travel while also giving me the freedom to build a new function. For that first job in the airline industry, I moved to Minnesota, which was bitter cold. So I can’t say I minded the weather change when I moved to Texas for my next role.

What drew you from the airlines to PwC?
I knew I wanted to be a chief audit executive, so I looked at what other people in that position had as experience. And at that time in my career, I lacked two things: First, I needed to become a CPA. So I studied, and thankfully passed the test on my first try. Second, I needed to get experience with a “Big Four” accounting firm. I felt very fortunate to join PwC as a director of internal audit services.

What stands out most from your experience at PwC?
The can-do attitude. Across industries and functions, people had courage and confidence, as well as a sense of positivity when faced with a new challenge.

Speaking of new challenges, you were recently promoted at Fossil. How’s your new role going?
Working at Fossil has been a fantastic opportunity for me. The company is focused on making sure that people feel connected, so it’s a very friendly, warm, welcoming, and creative environment.

What are your main responsibilities?
I oversee our internal audit function as well as loss prevention globally, enterprise risk management and risk and insurance, and product and supplier compliance. That involves product testing of substances that go into our products, making sure we’re in compliance, and also doing factory audits to make sure that workers are fairly treated. Also, of course, my role increasingly intersects with many issues related to ESG.

What’s next for you?
I’d love to join a board and write a book. I often get calls from people asking for advice on a particular dilemma or situation, but not everyone has someone else to reach out to for that kind of guidance. So I hope to share my experiences as they relate to internal audit and typical business decisions, all told with a little bit of humor and some good stories, in a way that might be helpful to others.

Outside of work, what makes you happiest?
I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family — my wife, my two sons, who are in their twenties now, and our three cats. We have a home in Portugal, which we like to visit as often as we can.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I’m the oldest of 10!

Do you have a motto you’d like to share?
People don’t know how much you know until they know how much you care.

Reflecting on your career at this point, what makes you most proud?
I’m most proud when I see the people I’ve mentored growing and excelling in their roles.

What do you attribute your success as a leader to?
Having a clear vision— the ability to implement something based on what I expect the outcome to look like. So when tackling a new challenge, I start by establishing what I want to achieve. Then I go about identifying the plan, the resources, and the tasks necessary. By working hard, motivating and engaging others and looking for creative approaches, that's allowed me to achieve some significant successes.

What helpful advice can you offer to others?
Stay on a quest to continue learning. Be willing to take on new and different projects. Maintain a positive, can-do attitude that's uplifting to people around you. Stay focused on delivering top-quality, on time-work. And, if at all possible, try to under-promise and over-deliver. Also, if you’re at PwC, just try to treasure your experience. PwC is a very powerful brand with great training and opportunities, and it’s a network you’ll have for the rest of your life. I’m grateful for my time there.

Contact us

Kerri Murphy

Kerri Murphy

US/MX Alumni Network Leader, PwC US

Sallie Hinson

Sallie Hinson

US Alumni Network team, PwC US

Weslee Yacker

Weslee Yacker

US Alumni Network team, PwC US

Heather Norbury

Heather Norbury

US Alumni Network team, PwC US

Amanda Ritchey

Amanda Ritchey

US Alumni Network team, PwC US

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