The CEO of Grant Thornton Johannesburg, Paul Badrick, has voluntarily stepped down from his role, pending the outcome of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him.
With immediate effect, Grant Thornton Johannesburg’s chair Serena Ho has taken over an active role with the executive committee in the management of the firm and its communications.
Allegations were made against Badrick during an investigation by Grant Thornton International, following a former director’s claims of sexual harassment against a former head of forensics earlier this year.
The sexual harassment allegations against Mr Badrick occurred during 2015. No formal complaints were made until the the international office investigation which has just ended.
In a letter to its clients, the firm said it had “previously publicly apologised and acknowledged mistakes in the way the matter was handled and the impact it had on the individuals concerned.
“We have written to the individual who raised the allegations to acknowledge that the former Head of Forensics’ conduct violated acceptable standards. We have offered her a meaningful settlement amount for the impact this has had, and we have again apologised to her unreservedly.”
The Grant Thornton Internatioanl nvestigation was one of three independent investigations undertaken. These include launching an external, independent probe and a report for the commission for gender equality in response to their request for information.