Grant Thornton transitions CEO to emeritus role

Grant Thornton said late Friday that its current chief executive, Mike McGuire, will be transitioning into a CEO emeritus role, where he will serve as a "brand ambassador" for the Top 6 Firm, starting August 1, and the firm will be led by Bradley Preber as interim CEO-elect.

Preber is currently chairman of the Partnership Board, which is searching for a more permanent CEO.

Last November, the Partnership Board voted unanimously to extend McGuire's term until July 31, 2021, his mandatory retirement date, so the sudden transition was unexpected. Grant Thornton did not provide an explanation for the abrupt change in leadership and a spokesman said there would be no further comment.

“It has been the honor of my life to lead Grant Thornton over the past five years, and I am so proud of all we’ve accomplished as a team,” McGuire said in a statement. “As fast as the marketplace is changing, I believe we now need to transition as quickly as possible to new leadership that can take us on the next leg of our journey to become the ‘firm of the future’ over the next five years or more. I will do everything in my power in the coming years to help the firm navigate this transition and continue to succeed.”

McGuire became CEO of Grant Thornton in January 2015 and the firm has continued to set records in its revenue during his tenure. It earned $1.8 billion in annual revenue for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2018.

The Partnership Board released a statement saying that, “Mike McGuire has taken our firm from the ‘now’ to the ‘next’ and on to the ‘new,’ and we thank him for his vision and leadership.”

Grant Thornton CEO Mike McGuire

As CEO emeritus, McGuire will focus on business development and supporting some of GT’s main client relationships. He also will be helping execute the leadership transition for the firm.

Preber stated, “Mike McGuire has positioned the firm well for future success, and I am prepared to lead our firm forward as our board continues the succession process.”

Preber is national managing partner of Business Risk Services for GT, and also serves as managing partner of the Phoenix office. He plans to temporarily step aside from those roles while acting as interim CEO. He has worked at Grant Thornton since 2003.

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