Swiss staffing company Adecco SA said Chief Executive Jerome Caille would leave immediately, to be replaced by co-founder Klaus J. Jacobs, who will take full control of the company. Jacobs will become, as well as interim CEO, sole chairman of Adecco as co-founder and co-chairman Philippe Foriel-Destezet steps down. Foriel-Destezet will also sell most of his Adecco stake to Jacobs and his family, who will then become the company's largest single shareholder. The sweeping management and shareholder changes Tuesday decided at the company's recent board meeting following a series of disappointing quarterly results were welcomed by both investors and analysts. Global Work Force Helps Fed on Inflation
The world's largest staffing company in terms of sales ahead of Milwaukee-based Manpower Inc. and Netherlands-based Vedior NV has been struggling with difficult market conditions in its core markets such as France and the U.S. in recent months. It has failed to live up to its ambitious profitability targets. German-born billionaire Jacobs said Tuesday's moves were aimed at helping Adecco to increasingly focus its activity on high-margin businesses, in an attempt to boost profitability and market scope. Despite a spate of minor takeovers of specialty human resources companies for highly-skilled employees such as engineers, Adecco still relies heavily on its bulk staffing business which has poor margins. Jacobs said the company would continue to put its major focus on France and the United States, where it generates around half of its annual sales of about 17 billion euros, ($20 billion) and would continue to pursue acquisitions.
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Shopping Frenzy News of the changes sent Adecco stock up 5.3 percent, or 3.05 Swiss francs, ($2.31) to 59.80 francs ($45.32). So far this year, Adecco shares have lost 0.9 percent in value, underperforming major peers.