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Hogan Lovells has confirmed that its US co-head of litigation Steve Immelt will become CEO after a partnership vote approved the move last night (16 December 2013).
The firm has been gearing up for a change of leadership since it was announced that co-CEOs Warren Gorrell and David Harris were to step down next June, with the firm abolishing its dual-headed management structure (1 December 2013).
Immelt was the only name put forward for the role of sole CEO, following an “extensive consultation with partners” before his promotion went to vote last night. It had already been approved by the board and it is not known what percentage of partners had to vote in favour of the move.
The firm has also confirmed that global head of finance David Hudd is stepping up to become deputy CEO. Together they will serve a term of four years.
Immelt and Hudd joined the firm’s management committee following the firm’s merger on 1 May 2010 (8 February 2010). The firm reshuffled the management committee earlier this year (6 March 2013).
In an interview earlier this month Harris dismissed suggestions that the appointment of a US partner as firm leader might be viewed askance by the legacy UK partnership. “There’s less of that than you might imagine,” he said. ”We’ve moved forward since the merger.”
Harris added that he had not yet decided his next move on leaving the firm: “If it doesn’t work out, there’s always that rock band I wanted to join.”