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Plante Moran's Succession Transition: A Roadmap for Seamless Transitions Offers Rare Look Inside One of the Country's Most Successful Public Accounting Firms


New Book Offers Strategies to Create Sustainable Organizations through Leadership Development

Southfield, MI – Plante Moran, PLLC, one of the nation’s largest public accounting and business consulting firms, announces the release of its new book, Succession Transition: A Roadmap for Seamless Transitions. Widely known for its award winning corporate culture (the firm has been on the FORTUNE 100 Best Places to Work list for 13 consecutive years), Plante Moran has one of the lowest turnover rates in the profession and has been lauded for its high percentage of women partners. Not until now, though, has the firm offered an inside look at its approach to grooming individuals to step into key leadership positions, including the ultimate leadership role, firm managing partner.

Succession Transition: A Roadmap for Seamless Transitions was written by former Managing Partner Bill Hermann, CPA, and Plante Moran Managing Partner, Gordon Krater, CPA, with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Sheryl James. Hermann served as the firm’s managing partner from 2001 to 2009, and Krater is in the third year of a four year term. Hermann saw the firm through several mergers and expanded the firm’s geographic footprint, reputation and new client opportunities. He is now the practice group leader of Plante Moran’s Services Group. Krater has navigated the firm through unprecedented challenges in the economy; yet, the firm’s existing client relationships and ability to attract new clients remain exceptionally strong.

“The goal of the book was to create a primer on succession transitions through leadership development, but it’s not a how-to book, per se,” says Hermann. “Successful leadership transitions take years, not months. That’s because there’s no substitute for investing time to cultivate and nurture those with the potential for leadership. Without a commitment to guide up-and-coming leaders, there can be no successful leadership transition.”

Succession Transition: A Roadmap for Seamless Transitions focuses on six key areas that create sustainable and healthy organizations – a necessity for a truly successful leadership transition:

  • Organizational culture
  • Communication and recognition
  • Leadership selection
  • Development
  • Experiential learning
  • Mentoring

The book offers examples as to why executives are encouraged to keep an open mind when identifying future leaders.

Krater cites the example of one partner who was extremely shy early in her career. “Now she has risen not only to leadership roles in the firm but in the public accounting profession. She would never have been tapped for leadership opportunities if the firm followed a pre-determined leader mold.”

For those who love their roles, timing to stepping away from leadership can be just as important as stepping into it, says Hermann.

“Being a good leader means knowing when to get in and when to get out,” offers Hermann in the book. “The decision to give up leadership is as difficult as deciding who should take over leadership. If you are the current leader, you may recognize that the next era for your business requires skills that aren’t necessarily your strengths.”

Succession Transition: A Roadmap for Seamless Transitions, with a foreword by Wayne State University President and former Ford Motor Company CFO, Allan Gilmour, is published by Momentum Books. Copies can be purchased for $19.95 on-line at Amazon.com or through Momentum Books.

Authors Bill Hermann and Gordon Krater and select Plante Moran contributors are available for speaking opportunities about the book, succession transitions, leadership development, mentoring and establishing a thriving workplace culture. To view interviews with Bill Hermann and Gordon Krater, visit the book's official website. To schedule a speaking engagement, please contact Teresa McAlpine at Teresa.McAlpine@plantemoran.com or call 248.603.5344.

About the Authors of Succession Transition: A Roadmap for Seamless Transitions

Bill Hermann, CPA is currently practice group leader of Plante Moran’s Services Group. He served as Plante Moran’s Managing Partner for two terms, from 2001 to 2009, and also served as Office Managing Partner of the firm’s Ann Arbor, Michigan office, which he helped to found in 1982. As Managing Partner, Bill expanded the firm's geographic footprint and broadened its service capabilities, including the formation of Plante Moran Trust, and expansion of the firm’s international capabilities through the creation of Plante & Moran Global Services, which has offices in Shanghai, Monterey, and Mumbai. Under his leadership, Plante Moran expanded its presence in Ohio and Michigan and opened its first offices in Chicagoland following a successful merger. Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Detroit Mercy and has been included in Accounting Today’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.

Gordon Krater, CPA became Plante Moran’s Managing Partner in 2009, only the 6th managing partner in the firm’s 85+-year history. With more than 31 years of experience, Gordon leads client service, growth, people development, risk management and strategic direction for the firm. His experience includes manufacturing and governmental audit engagements and consulting, and he has expertise in operational consulting, profit improvement and labor arbitration work. Gordon has been a member of Plante Moran’s senior management team since 2001, when he became Group Managing Partner in charge of industries. He has also led the firm’s governmental audit and consulting practice and served as Office Managing Partner of the firm’s Southfield, Michigan office. Gordon holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Michigan and has been included in Accounting Today’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.

About Plante Moran, PLLC

Plante Moran is among the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, providing clients with tax, audit, risk management, financial, technology, business consulting, and wealth management services. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 1,600 professionals in 21 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois, with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico and Mumbai, India. Plante Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including FORTUNE magazine, as one of the country’s best places to work. For more information, visit plantemoran.com.

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