Adecco moving North American headquarters to Jacksonville

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  • | 12:00 p.m. March 21, 2014
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Adecco Group North America intends to consolidate its North America headquarters in Jacksonville, bringing 185 corporate and professional jobs from Melville, N.Y., that pay an average of almost $64,000.

The Adecco Group, which is based in Zurich, Switzerland, employs more than 31,000 full-time workers around the world. The North American group is a significant part of Adecco's operations, producing about $5 billion in revenue last year. Adecco's total global revenue was about 19.5 billion euros, equivalent to about $27 billion.

David DeCamp, spokesman for Mayor Alvin Brown, said the city and state are crafting an incentives deal and legislation is expected to be filed with City Council next week. The incentives require the 185 full-time jobs to be created by the end of 2016. They will be corporate leadership, professional and support jobs.

DeCamp said Adecco has 354 jobs in Jacksonville. The company operates in the Deerwood South office park, where the headquarters is expected to move. Adecco expects to make a $3.4 million capital investment there.

He said the Office of Economic Development said the jobs are expected to be new hires, and employees in Melville will be eligible to apply for the jobs.

“We anticipate further information Monday,” DeCamp.

DeCamp said Friday the administration supports the expansion.

“Global corporations increasingly consider Jacksonville a great place to invest and do business,” Brown said in a statement.

“Employees love to live, work and play in Northeast Florida, and the result is a growing and vibrant local and regional economy with more well-paying jobs that benefit families and our neighborhoods.”

DeCamp provided a statement from Adecco.

“We appreciate the efforts of city and state economic development officials, including Mayor Alvin Brown and Governor Rick Scott,” said Bob Crouch, CEO of Adecco Group North America. “They’ve made this project possible. We look forward to coordinating with local officials in the coming weeks to work through the final steps of this process.”

The move is not a complete surprise because four years ago, Switzerland-based Adecco bought out Jacksonville-based MPS Group Inc. Two years ago, Adecco named Crouch, a former MPS executive, as CEO of Adecco Group North America.

Since Crouch still lived in Jacksonville, that started speculation that Adecco could move its North American headquarters here.

Switzerland-based Adecco S.A., the world's largest staffing agency, provides temporary and permanent staffing services in more than 60 countries and territories.

In a story published March 12, an unidentified spokeswoman told Newsday that all Adecco employees in Melville whose jobs are moving to Jacksonville will be eligible to apply for the positions, and the company will offer employment assistance for those remaining in the Long Island area.

She also said about 250 jobs will remain on Long Island, including employees of a service center and an information management unit.

The 130,000-square-foot building in Melville was the headquarters of Olsten Staffing until 2000, when Adecco acquired its Melville-based rival in a $1.6 billion deal. A decade later, Adecco acquired Jacksonville-based MPS Group Inc. for $1.3 billion.

MPS was one of Jacksonville's most well-known companies — or at least its subsidiary, Modis, was. The Modis name was atop the Jacksonville skyline's signature 35-story building downtown, which now is Wells Fargo Center.

After Adecco's buyout of MPS in 2010, it remained a major employer in the area. However, its lease in the Downtown building expired in 2011 and the company decided to move its Jacksonville offices to the Deerwood South business park on the Southside.

Adecco actually said it was making a move with its North American headquarters in its 2013 earnings report two weeks ago, but it gave no details.

“In 2014, we expect to incur restructuring costs of approximately 20 million euros for the move to a single headquarters in North America and several smaller projects in other countries,” it said.

Adecco reported 2013 earnings rose 48 percent to 557 million euros.

"While this was a difficult decision," the Adecco spokeswoman told Newsday, "it was a necessary one" in pursuit of greater efficiency.

Anthony Manetta, executive director of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, told Newsday he was surprised by Adecco's move.

"They didn't reach out to us, and we didn't have any knowledge that they were considering such a move," he said.

Newsday also said a former Adecco worker who asked not to be named because of possible recriminations to friends who remain at the company said "emotions ran from anger to sadness" when employees were informed. "It's a shock when an institution decides to pack up and ship off the Island."




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