Accenture Ltd. plans to shed 7% of its senior-executive ranks, or about 336 positions, and plans to cut excess real estate capacity, seeing total restructuring charges of $247 million in its fiscal fourth quarter.

The technology outsourcing and management company said about $128 million of the charge was for severance and related costs of work force reductions at the senior-executive level. Prior to the cut, the company had 4,800 senior-executive employees. It had a total of 177,000 employees, according to a company spokesman.

Accenture already laid off half of its work force in the Philippines in March. So far, a hope that the global recession could spur demand for companies like Accenture, which provide consulting and technology services to corporations, has failed to materialize.

The rest of the charges were attributed to cutting excess office space. The company sees the restructuring charges lowering the fourth quarter and full-year results by 24 cents. The periods end Aug. 31.

“We’re taking proactive steps to ensure that we have the right cost structure to support our business going forward and that our organization is properly aligned to most effectively capture future growth opportunities,” said Chairman and Chief Executive William D. Green.

The company expects the space reductions to be completed at the end of the fiscal year. The work force cuts should be substantially completed during the fiscal first quarter of 2010.

Accenture also maintained its revenue target and its operating margin, absent the impact of the restructuring charge.


The article above was written by John Kell and published at