Accenture to axe underperforming managing directors

18 November 2019 2 min. read
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Accenture is looking to recalibrate its management-level workforce in Australia, according to reporting by Australian Financial Review (AFR). A spokesperson at the firm has confirmed that the strategy will not affect the company’s overall workforce, but will see managing directors made redundant in some areas while others are recruited into other, more in-demand areas.

The firm’s Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) Chair Bob Easton said that the new measures target partners (known as managing directors at Accenture) who are underperforming. Cuts will be applied to those in underperforming areas or those underperforming individually, while some leaders will be handed a second chance through performance improvement support in the firm of a professional development programme.

“A very small percentage” of Accenture’s Australia workforce is likely to be affected, according to a spokesperson, although AFR suggests that the company might lay off as many as 70 executives in the near future. Most cuts will be motivated by an “overcapacity of skills in certain areas”, which allegedly includes the consulting and financial services units.

Accenture to axe underperforming managing directors

The global consulting firm and professional services firm has been active in its efforts to evolve its suite of capabilities in the Australian market. In this regard, the firm indicated that it will continue to recruit talent that will help it remain competitive in the current market environment.

“We continue recruiting for specialised skills and leadership talent in areas where we need to add capacity to meet client demand,” said the spokesperson to AFR.

In recent months, Accenture has actively used merger & acquisition activity to buy itself into in-demand segments such as cloud, cybersecurity and data science. In January this year, the firm bolstered its Oracle knowhow through the acquisition of Adelaide-based Oracle advisory firm PrimeQ for $31 million. And in July, the firm beefed up its cyber security offering with the purchases of Canberra-based cyber security and digital intelligence consultancy BCT Solutions.

The latest deal was that of Analytics8 (August this year), in a move that added around 70 professionals to its analytics team. “We remain committed to our business in Australia and New Zealand and believe these markets offer strong opportunities for our future growth,” said the spokesperson.

Accenture generates revenues of around $2 billion in Australia, roughly on par with EY and Deloitte. The firm is led by around 260 managing director-level executives.