Grant Thornton names CEO-elect and culture & inclusion leader

16 September 2021 3 min. read
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Grant Thornton US has named Seth Siegel as CEO-elect and Rashada Whitehead as national managing director of culture, immersion & inclusion.

Siegel, who has been at Grant Thornton for more than 25 years, succeeds Brad Preber, who will complete his term and retire on July 31, 2022. Preber, who joined the accounting and consulting firm in 2004, began his tenure as CEO in 2019, having previously led the firm's national forensic and valuation services practice.

“I have strived to serve our clients, our people, and our communities throughout my career at the firm, including my time as CEO,” Preber said. “I know Seth shares my stalwart commitment to the firm, and I look forward to watching him bring his exceptional talents to the CEO post.”

Siegel joined Grant Thornton in 1996 and became a partner in 2006. He currently serves as managing partner for South Florida, and previously led the firm’s audit practice in Florida, as well as its real estate, construction, and hospitality industry group in the state.

Siegel holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Florida Atlantic University and is a certified public accountant.

Seth Siegel en Rashada Whitehead - Grant Thornton

“Seth is the ideal person to lead our firm during a time of rapid change in our profession,” said Jim Wittmer, chairman of the partnership board at Grant Thornton. “He combines a deep understanding of the challenges our clients face with a focused vision for our future that will accelerate our growth and empower our people to deliver the value and quality our clients expect and deserve.”

The Chicago-based firm also this week appointed Rashada Whitehead to the newly created role of national managing director of culture, immersion & inclusion. She will join Grant Thornton’s national leadership team and will be responsible for the firm’s diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) task force. Whitehead will also continue to lead the colleague experience function, where she oversees candidate care and onboarding, DEI initiatives, mobility and immigration, and alumni relations.

Whitehead joined Grant Thornton in 2019, and spearheaded the firm’s inaugural D&I report last year. A public relations and culture shaping professional with more than 15 years of experience, Whitehead has advised numerous Fortune 500 Companies.

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Whitehead was CEO of KG Berry, a reputation management and culture transformation consultancy, and Flower Communications Group, a national public relations firm. Before that, she was a VP at Golin, where she managed US and global communications for McDonald’s.

Whitehead has also taught public relations as an adjunct professor at Roosevelt University since 2014. She holds a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Roosevelt University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“In recent years, Grant Thornton has made great progress toward building a distinctive, people-focused culture,” Preber said. “Rashada has played an integral leadership role in that work. We know there is even more we can do to further strengthen our culture and our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and her leadership, experience, and compassion will help us advance this seminal work.”