William Thomas elected new global chairman of KPMG International

20 March 2017 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
More news on
The Canadian William Thomas has been elected as the Chairman of KPMG's global network, effective 1 October 2017. He takes over responsibility for the firm's 190,000 professionals and its client services from John Veihmeyer, who retires from the firm.
Thomas has been elected by KPMG’s elective body as the new Chairman for the firm’s global network of professional services firms – with staff across the network totalling more than 190,000. Thomas ousted two main candidates in the process, Simon Collins, KPMG's UK boss, and Klaus Becker, chief executive of the firm's German operations.
William Thomas was most recently the Chairman of KPMG’s Americas region, a role he took on in 2014. He was previously, and in part concurrently, the CEO of KPMG Canada from 2009 until 2016, as well as member of the firm’s Global Board since 2009. His role at the top of the firm’s business has seen him lead global strategy as well as support the development of a more inclusive, and high-performing, culture throughout the firm’s global network. His work for the firm stretches 28 years, which has included serving some of the firm’s high-profile clients as an audit partner. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia.

John Veihmeyer and William Thomas - KPMG

The new global executive takes responsibility for steering KPMG to meet the fast paced, changing and challenging needs of clients, as well as further developing the firm’s professional talent base globally. The role has an initial term of four years, and sees him succeed John Veihmeyer, who joined the firm in 1977 and who retires from the accounting and consulting firm following the handover on 1 October 2017.

Veihmeyer has been at the helm since February 2014, when he succeeded Michael Andrew, who held the job since May 2011 and retired after being diagnosed with a serious medical condition. Under Veihmeyer's direction, KPMG managed to grow its global revenues from $24.8 billion to $25.4 billion, an expansion which was driven by the firm's Advisory arm.

"John Veihmeyer has been an exceptional leader and role model, who has strengthened KPMG immensely with his commitment to quality and integrity, and his focus on the culture of our global organisation", says Thomas. 

He states that he finds it a "great honour" to be elected Chairman of KPMG International, adding "I’m convinced the next few years will be among the most dynamic our profession has ever seen, and I’m excited about the opportunities that are in front of KPMG." His main priority when he formally takes over later this year will be to attract the best and the brightest people in order to drive the firm forward.

Remarking on his successor, Veihmeyer, says: "William brings an exceptional range of skills and experience that will benefit KPMG and the clients our professionals serve. As leader of KPMG’s Americas region and the Canadian firm, William has an outstanding leadership record of quality growth, innovation and collaboration. But what distinguishes William most are his qualities of integrity, sincerity, passion and personal commitment. I‘m confident that William's authentic leadership will bring tremendous value to our people and to clients."