Baker Tilly Leader Whitman Is Out in Major Management Shake-Up (1) – Bloomberg Tax

By David Jolly and Amanda Iacone
Alan Whitman, chairman and CEO of Baker Tilly US LLP, resigned this week after disagreeing with the firm’s other top leaders on how to advance an aggressive and unique business strategy.
Staff at Chicago-based Baker Tilly learned of the leadership shakeup Tuesday morning. Jeff Ferro, regional managing partner, will serve as interim CEO and managing partner Jeffrey DeYoung was appointed chairman of the board, the firm said.
“While Alan and the Board were closely aligned on strategy, they differed on aspects of execution,” DeYoung said in a statement. “Change like this is never easy, but we respect Alan’s decision to move on.”
Whitman submitted his resignation on Monday after leading the firm since 2015. He also stepped down from his role as chairman to the board of Baker Tilly International, a firm spokesperson said.
Whitman said in a statement that he was “confident” in the new leadership and that “along with the abundant talent at Baker Tilly, the firm’s future is bright.”
The firm has doubled its workforce and expanded both across the US and internationally through 19 acquisitions in the last five years. A 2020 merger with Squar Milner pushed Baker Tilly among the 10 largest firms in the US.
Whitman established a reputation for aggressively targeting old ways of business, scrapping the traditional way partners are paid and experimenting with an end to the time-honored use of billable hours. Under his leadership, Baker Tilly joined the tier of firms ranking just below the Big Four, a group that includes BDO USA LLP, Grant Thornton LLP and CliftonLarsonAllen LLP.
DeYoung committed to continuing that vision for the firm, but downplayed Whitman’s role, in a letter to staff.
“No one person achieved these things. We did them together,” DeYoung wrote. “With belief in who we are and a steadfast dedication to where we are going, we are creating the advisory CPA firm of the future, today. This vision, our accomplishments: they belong to all of us.”
Ferro previously was president of ParenteBeard and led that firm’s 2014 merger into Baker Tilly. He most recently oversaw Baker Tilly’s east and central regions and is known for mentoring its professionals, the firm said.
To contact the reporters on this story: David Jolly in Washington D.C. at; Amanda Iacone in Washington at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeff Harrington at
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