Professional services firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) are striding into a new era in the North East after announcing the retirement of senior partner Paul Woolston as the firm expands into bigger premises.
Woolston, the Newcastle office senior partner and UK leader for public services assurance, will retire as partner and leave PwC after more than 25 years, making way for Bill MacLeod, partner and Newcastle’s head of assurance.
The new appointment comes as the office announces it is to relocate from Sandyford Road after 25 years, to take up 24,000 sq ft at Central Square South in Newcastle from March next year to accommodate its growing team.
MacLeod will succeed Woolston from January next year, as the office senior partner leading the 300-strong Newcastle office, having been a partner for 18 years, starting his career with PwC in Glasgow before moving to the North East in 2005.
He has also worked for the firm’s New York and Dubai offices gaining international experience and creating global networks. He currently leads the assurance practice in the region and has a wide range of experience having worked with many of the North East’s leading companies over the last eight years.
Woolston has had a distinguished career since joining the audit practice in Newcastle, having previously worked at the Inland Revenue, and has been based in the North East for more than 25 years, being made partner in 1992 and leading the North East office for the last 12 years.
As the current chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership he has successfully built PwC’s government and public sector practice in the region and become a leading voice in promoting the strengths of the North East, calling for more government action to tackle long-standing regional disparities.
Woolston said: “It has been a privilege to have such a long-standing career at PwC, during which time I have worked and engaged with some extremely talented people who have shaped both me and my career.
“I look forward to continuing to play my part in promoting growth of the region using my role in the LEP to support and develop economic growth in the North East. Bill is hugely respected by his clients, colleagues and peers so I am confident that he will continue to build upon the office’s successes and grow the practice.”
Bill MacLeod said: “I’m excited to be given this opportunity. Our North East office has continued to grow through the downturn and I am very encouraged by a wide range of indicators that suggest the economy is improving in the North East.”