Deloitte LLP’s board has nominated the head of its audit practice as the Big Four accounting firm’s next U.S. chief executive, apparently closing off the last chance that current chief Cathy Engelbert might get a second term.

The board has selected Joseph Ucuzoglu as its official candidate to be CEO and Janet Foutty, head of Deloitte’s consulting business, to be U.S. chairman, according to an email to partners Friday reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Both candidates are subject to ratification in a vote by Deloitte’s partners and principals early next year.

The board believes Mr. Ucuzoglu and Ms. Foutty are “the most qualified and best prepared candidates” to lead the firm, Mike Fucci, Deloitte’s current U.S. chairman, wrote in the email to partners.

The board chose Mr. Ucuzoglu after deciding earlier this year not to nominate Ms. Engelbert for another term, in a move that stunned Deloitte’s partners, The Wall Street Journal reported in June.

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