The Adecco Group

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The Adecco Group
Traded as SIXADEN
Industry Professional services
Founded 1996
Headquarters Glattbrugg, Switzerland
Number of locations
5,100 branches in over 60 countries and territories
Area served
Key people
Rolf Dörig (Chairman)
Alain Dehaze (CEO)
Services Employment agencies, recruitments, human resource consulting and outsourcing
Revenue 22.7 billion (2016)[1]
€1,062 million (2016)[1]
Profit €725 million (2016)[1]
Total assets €10,099 million (2016)[1]
Total equity €3,722 million (2016)[1]
Number of employees
more than 33,000 (2016)[1]
The Adecco Group headquarters in Glattbrugg, Switzerland

The Adecco Group, based near Zurich, Switzerland, is the largest staffing firm in the world,[2] and a Fortune Global 500 company.[3]

With more than 33,000 FTE employees and around 5,100 branches in over 60 countries and territories around the world, The Adecco Group offers a wide variety of services that include temporary staffing, permanent placement, career transition and talent development, as well as outsourcing and consulting. The Adecco Group key markets are France, North America, UK & Ireland, Japan, Germany, Austria, Italy, Benelux, Nordics, Iberia, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland.

The company was formed in 1996 as a result of the merger of the French company Ecco and the Swiss company Adia Interim,[4] and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN, ISIN CH0012138605).

The Adecco Group is the parent company of a large array of brands including Adecco Staffing, Modis, Spring Professional, Badenoch & Clark, Pontoon and Lee Hecht Harrison.


Through its brand portfolio, The Adecco Group provides services and solutions covering temporary staffing, permanent placement, career transition and talent development as well as business process outsourcing and consulting.

As for staffing, The Adecco Group covers many sectors, including office, industrial, technical, financial and legal, amongst others.


  • 1996: Personnel services firms Ecco and Adia Interim merge to form a global company with annualised revenues of €5.4 billion.[5] Operations are combined to form a network of 2,500 branches. The core staffing business consists of 250,000 staff situated with various companies.
  • 2000: The Adecco Group acquires Olsten Staffing, becoming the largest recruitment company in the U.S. The merged company generates combined revenues of €11.6 billion.
  • 2002: The Adecco Group consolidates its businesses and creates divisions to manage its business.
  • 2005: The Adecco Group expands across six professional business lines defined by occupational fields and now provides all services under one name.
  • 2006: Following the acquisition of DIS AG, Germany, Dieter Scheiff assumes the position of Chief Executive Officer of The Adecco Group. Dominik de Daniel becomes Chief Financial Officer.[6]
  • 2007: The annual shareholders' meeting approves the nomination of Jürgen Dormann, former Vice Chairman, as Chairman of the Board. Rolf Dörig becomes Vice-Chairman. Klaus J. Jacobs, the co-founder of Adecco, hands back his mandate, having reached the statutory retirement age.
  • 2008: On September 11, Klaus J. Jacobs, founder and Honorary President of The Adecco Group, dies.[7] Jürgen Dormann steps down at year end, as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
  • 2009: Rolf Dörig starts as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the The Adecco Group. On June 1, Patrick De Maeseneire takes over as Chief Executive Officer of the The Adecco Group from Dieter Scheiff. The Adecco Group acquires Spring Group in the UK,[8] and tables an offer for MPS Group.
  • 2010: The acquisition of MPS Group officially closes.[9] The Adecco Group sets up a joint venture in Shanghai with Chinese HR services company Fesco.[10]
  • 2011: FESCO Adecco begin operations on January 1. The Adecco Group announces the acquisition of US-based Drake Beam Morin, Inc.[11]
  • 2012: The Adecco Group acquires VSN Inc., a provider of professional staffing services in Japan.[12] Henri-Ferdinand Lavanchy, the founder of Adia, passes away.[13]
  • 2014: The Adecco Group acquires OnForce to expand its Beeline service offering, creating a unique integrated solution for managing contingent workforces.[14] The Jacobs Group sells the vast majority of its 18% stake in the The Adecco Group.[15]
  • 2015: On March 11, The Adecco Group acquires Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions, a market leader in Canada in career transition, talent and leadership development and recruitment services.[16] On September 1, Alain Dehaze takes over as Chief Executive Officer of The Adecco Group from Patrick De Maeseneire.[17] The Adecco Group announces a new composition of the Executive Committee.
  • 2016: On May 10, The Adecco Group closes the acquisition of Penna Consulting Plc, a UK company providing career transition and talent development services as well as recruitment solutions.[18] The acquisition complements the activities of Lee Hecht Harrison.

Global Brands[edit]

The Adecco Group operates in the market through many different brands. The main international ones are:

  • Adecco
  • Modis
  • Spring Professional
  • Badenoch & Clark
  • Pontoon
  • Lee Hecht Harrison

Initiatives and Partnerships[edit]

The Adecco Group leads a number of different global programmes and initiatives:

Adecco Way to Work[edit]

Adecco Way to Work represents its commitment against youth unemployment and encompasses three areas:

  1. Adecco Street Day: A global initiative providing career guidance and tips for a successful job search. In 2016, 6,700 colleagues from 53 countries participated, and 1 million people were helped. Since the launch in 2013, over 3.2 million job seekers have received assistance.[19]
  2. Internships Opportunities: Work experience opportunities are offered to enhance young people’s employability, with over 10,000 interns being placed between 2015 & 2016.[20]
  3. CEO for One Month: Launched in 49 countries worldwide, 49 youngsters are given a taste of running a multinational company, one of them becomes the global CEO for One Month.[21]


Win4Youth is a global CSR & sports initiative. The Adecco Group turns all kilometres covered by colleagues, clients and associates (through swimming, cycling and running) into a group donation, while fostering healthy and active lifestyles for its employees.

The Adecco Group donates to 6 foundations dedicated to make a real, long-lasting difference to the lives of people across the world who struggle to find work because of their age, background, disability or other factors.

  1. Japan: Ashinaga (The Tohoku Rainbow Project)
  2. New Zealand: Graeme Dingle Foundation (Career Navigator program)
  3. UK: Macmillan Cancer Support (Working through cancer programme)
  4. North America: Take Stock in Children
  5. France: EPIDE (Etablissement pour l’insertion dans l’emploi)
  6. Finland: The Children and Youth Foundation (CYF)

In its 8th year, the 2017 edition aims to reach a goal of 4.3 million kilometres by swimming, cycling and running (the triathlon sports).

The IOC and IPC Athlete Career Programme(s) in cooperation with The Adecco Group[edit]

Since 2005 and 2007 respectively, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in cooperation with The Adecco Group have been providing educational, life skills, career development and job placement expertise through the IOC and IPC Athlete Career Programmes (ACP). The Programmes support elite, Olympic and Paralympic athletes to achieve life-long success. Since the Programmes were launched, more than 30 National Olympic and Paralympic Committees have cooperated with Adecco country organisations to support their athletes. Together with Outreach activities, delivered in countries that do not currently have a local agreement in place or via International Federations, and during Youth Olympic Games as well as through open online courses, more than 35,500 athletes from over 185 countries have been reached.

The IOC ACP supports athletes through three pillars: education, life skills and employment, and focuses on employment and workplace inclusion and accessibility.

Global Studies: GTCI (Global Talent Competitiveness Index) & Work Trends Study[edit]

  • Global Talent Competitiveness Index: Annual benchmarking study and practical tool ranking global economies based on their ability to grow, attract and retain talent.
  • Work Trends Study: Investigates how job seekers and recruiters use social media, what they think about smart working and personal or employer branding.


Following on from their sponsorship between 2002 and 2007; in September 2015, The Adecco Group signed a three-year extension as an international sponsor and Official HR partner of the ITF’s two team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.

The agreement started with the 2015 Davis Cup World Group semifinals and play-offs and continues through to 2019.[19]

Corporate Social Responsibility[edit]

The Adecco Group manages and develops its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy through a comprehensive approach, addressing global trends in our industry, stakeholder concerns and the three dimensions of CSR – economic, social and environmental. The Group reports in-depth on six material strategic focus areas, which have a major impact on the company's value creation and for society at large.

The Adecco Group was recognized as one of the top scoring companies in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index between 2011 and 2014.[20] In addition, The Adecco Group has been responding to the Carbon Disclosure Project's (CDP) Investor and Supplier modules and has been a member of the FTSE4Good Index Series for the past ten years. Since 2003, The Adecco Group have submitted their Communication on Progress (CoP) to the UN Global Compact.


On June 20, 2013, blogger Turner Barr went public on his blog, Around the World in 80 Jobs, with a dispute he was having with Adecco. Adecco had claimed a trademark on the term "Around the World in 80 Jobs," which they had used for a marketing campaign. Barr contended that his brand and likeness had been stolen. The story quickly went viral, particularly in the travel blogging community. On June 26, 2013, Adecco agreed to Turner's terms, issued a public apology, and changed the name of its contest to "Adecco Way to Work". [21][22][23]


Adecco UK Ltd v. Adecco UK Recruitment Ltd[edit]

On 10 December 2008, Adecco UK Ltd applied to the Company Names Tribunal under s.69(1)(b) Companies Act 2006 for a change of name of Adecco UK Recruitment Ltd, which had been registered at Companies House since 14 October 2008.

The application went undefended by the respondent and the adjudicator ordered on 3 March 2009 that Adecco UK Recruitment Ltd must change their name within one month. Additionally the respondent was ordered not to cause or permit any steps to be taken to register another company with an offending name which could interfere, due to its similarity, with the goodwill of the applicant.

Adecco UK Recruitment Ltd was also ordered to pay a contribution towards Adecco UK Ltd's costs.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Adecco. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Upcoming Adia, Ecco merger to create a personnel giant - Silicon Valley Business Journal". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Adecco's acquisition of Spring creates one of the largest recruitment companies in the UK". Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  9. ^ Basch, Mark: [1] Florida Times-Union, October 21, 2009, "Jacksonville's MPS Group agrees to buyout by Swiss firm"
  10. ^ Junqian, XU: [2] ChinaDaily, December 4, 2012, "Adecco, FESCO establish new HR venture"
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "OnForce acquired by European Adecco Group, will join with Beeline". Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  15. ^ "Adecco's largest shareholder sells down stake". Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Turner Barr (June 21, 2013). "How I Got Fired from the Job I Invented". AroundtheWorldin80Jobs. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  22. ^ Jason Clampet (June 21, 2013). "Global job firm Adecco uses a travel blog's name for its travel contest". Skift. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  23. ^ Stephen Rex Brown (June 24, 2013). "Travel blogger says employment company Adecco ripped off his website, likeness: 'It's creepy'". NY Daily News. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  24. ^ Adecco UK Ltd v. Adecco UK Recruitment Ltd Archived 3 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 8 October 2014

External links[edit]