January 1999 Issue


Grant Thornton, LLP, announced that Norman Hedgecock and Richard Stewart have been named interim co-CEOs, replacing the outgoing Adrian Smith. Smith resigned from the firm on November 9, 1998, just 100 days after assuming the CEO position. David Klumpyan, chair of Grant Thornton's executive committee, said that the committee and Smith disagreed on the approach for implementing strategy and this led to an amicable, mutual decision to make a change at this time. The appointment of Smith, who is not a licensed CPA, came as a surprise to many and was thought to possibly signal a new direction at the nation's sixth largest accounting firm.

"I am delighted that Hedgecock and Stewart have agreed to take on this additional responsibility," Klumpyan said. "They are widely respected leaders within our firm who will offer continuity of leadership and a smooth transition." Hedgecock and Stewart, longtime Grant Thornton partners, had previously been co-COOs.

"Once the need for a change became clear, we felt an obligation to our partners, employees, and clients to act decisively and promptly," Hedgecock said. Smith, the first chief executive ever hired from outside the ranks of the firm's partners, joined Grant Thornton last December as CEO-elect.

"We are grateful to Adrian Smith for his contributions, and we want to recognize the many ideas he brought to our firm," Stewart said. "We are committed to successfully implementing and incorporating these ideas into our culture." *

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