Grant Thornton LLP, one of the largest audit, tax and advisory firms in the U.S., has elevated five professionals to its senior leadership team to help the firm further execute its long-term growth strategy, which is creating compelling value for clients and team members.
New leaders focused on firm transformation and advancing strategy development
Enzo Santilli will serve as chief transformation officer. He will be responsible for driving enterprise-wide transformation initiatives to enable effective strategy execution. These responsibilities will include overseeing all firm technology systems and platform integration, business process excellence, and product innovation portfolio management. Santilli joined Grant Thornton in 2013 and has been serving in the role of national managing partner of Transformation services in the firm’s Advisory service line and as office managing partner for Pittsburgh. He received a master’s of business administration degree from the Wharton School, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) in Pennsylvania.
Chris Smith will step into the newly-created role of chief strategy officer. He will help shape and inform ongoing design and implementation of enterprise strategy, and he will serve as a subject matter expert to the firm’s leaders to help maintain and adapt strategic priorities based on shifting market dynamics. He joined Grant Thornton in 2016 and most recently served as the national leader of the firm’s Strategy Solution practice for Advisory Services. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and management information systems from Saint Louis University.
“Accelerating our growth trajectory and transforming our firm with innovation are critical as we advance Grant Thornton’s standing in the marketplace, while also delivering sustained growth, strong revenues and differentiated value to clients,” said Seth Siegel, CEO at Grant Thornton. “Enzo’s proven experience in the transformation space will empower our firm to capitalize on cutting-edge systems, processes and platforms; and Chris’s strategic mindset and expertise position him to drive the continuous evolution of our enterprise strategy.”
New Geography and Advisory leaders
Nichole Jordan will serve in the newly-created position of national managing partner of Geography. She will be responsible for coordinating strategy execution at the geography level and driving consistent results focusing on growth, talent engagement and culture. She has served in a number of senior leadership roles since joining the firm in 2003 and currently serves as the managing partner of the firm’s Central region. Previously, Jordan served as the national managing partner for Markets, Clients & Industry. She is a CPA in Texas and received a bachelor’s of business administration degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.
Wade Kruse will become the national managing partner of Advisory Services. He will be responsible for executing the firm’s strategy within the Advisory service line and will have direct oversight and responsibility for the service line’s operations, financial performance and quality. An experienced leader in transaction services, Kruse has served at the firm since 2003 and most recently led the Strategy & Transactions practice within its Advisory service line. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and is a CPA in Georgia.
“Clients are facing dynamic challenges and opportunities that require forward-thinking approaches and a holistic firmwide delivery,” Siegel said. “Nichole and Wade are ideally suited to ensure we effectively offer and scale integrated capabilities that meet the needs of our clients today and drive value well into the future.”
Increasing focus on culture, immersion and inclusion
Rashada Whitehead has been elevated to the firm’s Senior Leadership Team, where she will continue to serve as Grant Thornton’s national managing director of Culture, Immersion & Inclusion, a role she assumed in 2021. She will continue to drive priorities through a transformational enterprise strategy that delivers people-first and client-focused outcomes, including a strong emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. Whitehead has been with Grant Thornton since 2019 and has held several leadership roles in its People & Community group, such as leading the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion task force and serving as its head of Colleague Experience. She received a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in English writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“Rashada’s efforts have had a tremendous impact on our firm as we build upon our culture of inclusion, while attracting, developing and retaining a diverse talent pool,” Siegel said. “Elevating her position ensures that our commitment to an inclusive talent engine and equitable community is infused in every decision our firm makes. Our goal is clear — to be the employer of choice.”
As part of the leadership succession, David Hazels will move from his role leading the firm’s Advisory service line to a new position within that group, where he can apply his broad skill set to help advance the firm’s strategy.
Likewise, Mike Monahan, who has held several leadership positions at the firm, will take on new responsibilities. He most recently served as the firm’s head of People & Community, during which time he helped lead Grant Thornton through a public health crisis and the sudden reality of remote work. He will soon begin providing his extensive human resources experience to the firm’s clients. In the meantime, he will continue in an interim capacity to lead day-to-day operations of the People & Community function as the firm conducts a broad search for a leader of that team.
“David and Mike have played critical roles in shaping and fueling our firm’s success and growth over the last several years, and I thank them for their tireless work,” Siegel said. “We look forward to continuing to benefit from their strategic acumen and contributions in these vital leadership positions.”
Additionally, Jamie Fowler will retire from Grant Thorntonafter holding a series of leadership roles, most notably heading the firm’s Enterprise Transformation team and, before that, leading the Tax service line. She has also served as the firm’s managing partner for its Atlantic Coast region and was a principal architect of its shared-services center.
“On behalf of the entire firm, I would like to thank Jamie for her many significant contributions to Grant Thornton,” said Siegel. “She has meaningfully advanced our firm, and we wish her all of the best in her future endeavors.”