KPMG ‘s current global chairman Michael Andrew, who has been in the role since 2011, is to retire after being diagnosed with "a serious medical condition".

The KPMG board of director has named John Veihmeyer, current chairman and chief executive of KPMG US, as Andrew’s successor.

KPMG said Andrew is to now focus on his treatment and recovery "while continuing his work as co-chair of the Australian B20 working group on anti-corruption".

With Andrew’s appointment in 2011 KPMG became the first Big Four network to appoint a global chairman from the Asia-Pacific region and through his term Andrew has been based in Hong Kong.

Andrew’s successor, Veihmeyer, is said to have received unanimous support of the board and "his selection is expected to be ratified at the March meeting of senior partners from KPMG’s network of firms around the world". Veihmeyer will continue to be based in New York.

Commenting on the appointment Andrew said: "I congratulate John on being selected as the next KPMG global chairman. He is an outstanding leader, a good friend and has already made a significant contribution to KPMG in his leadership of the US member firm. He is the ideal person to lead our network into this next important phase of our growth."

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Veihmeyer has served as chairman and chief executive of KPMG’s firm in the US since 2010. He also currently serves as chairman of KPMG’s Americas region, a position from which he will step down upon becoming global chairman, according to KPMG.

"On behalf of our board and all our professionals, I want to thank Michael Andrew for the enormous progress made under his leadership," Veihmeyer said. "Michael’s understanding of the unique opportunities presented by emerging markets, demonstrated by his decision to base his office in Hong Kong, as well as his relentless focus on quality and integrity has helped position KPMG as a leader in an increasingly global and complex marketplace. We are indebted to him, and he has our best wishes as he focuses on his recovery."

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