Adecco cuts down Cubitt brief after board shake-up

Switzerland: Troubled recruitment company Adecco has slashed the value of its financial communications account with Cubitt Consulting following a long boardroom battle.

The global temporary staffing firm, which last week parted company with CEO Jerome Caille, said it had reduced Cubitt's brief and taken financial comms and IR in-house under head of investor relations Nicole Burth Tschudi, who is a former Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch financial analyst.

Senior V-P of public relations and global marketing partnerships Ian Grundy, who was recently promoted from head of Adecco's US sales and marketing operation (PRWeek, 16 September), insisted that he was keeping Cubitt on board for 'media opportunities and event support'.

Grundy said that as a result of the move, Adecco had cut Cubitt's fees, but declined to give details or rule out the appointment of a new financial comms agency in the next six months.

Burth Tschudi joined Adecco in June after a difficult year in which the firm has tried to rebuild its reputation with investors.

At the beginning of 2004 the company was forced to restate its 2003 financial results, a move that sent its share price tumbling by 35 per cent in one day.

Adecco's IR department has since been expanded to take on some of the financial comms duties Cubitt previously performed.

The shift in financial comms focus comes at the end of a difficult two years for Adecco. No irregularities were found in Adecco's accounts following its 2004 financial restatement, but bad performance in Adecco's important French market led the company to disappoint analysts last month.

Co-chairman and co-founder Philippe Foriel-Destezet is also to leave the firm but will stay on as acting CEO until a replacement for Caille is appointed.

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