A group claiming to represent the views of 15 partners and directors at the UK’s fifth largest firm sent copies of Sacha Romanovitch’s performance review to newspapers, which claimed that she had “misdirected” the firm.
Grant Thornton said at the time that it would be investigating the link. The data protection watchdog has now also confirmed it will look into it.
An ICO spokesperson said, “We are aware of an incident at Grant Thornton UK and are making enquiries.”
In response to the leak, Romanovitch told the Times, “It felt horrible” but that her job was not “to be popular”.
But in a surprise announcement one month later the CEO revealed she was stepping down this year.
Despite staff at the mid-tier firm giving Romanovitch one of the highest personal approval ratings for a chief executive in the UK this year, at 90%, the leaked review accused her of pursuing a “socialist agenda” and complained that the firm had “no focus on profitability”.
Romanovitch, who became the first female chief executive of a large accountancy firm in 2015, led the firm’s transformation from a traditional partnership structure into a shared enterprise, in which employees have a say and a stake in how it is run.