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June 06, 2006
Accenture to Help Unilever Transform Human Resources Operations in 100 Countries with a Seven-Year Outsourcing Agreement

Accenture to Help Unilever Transform Human Resources Operations in 100 Countries with a Seven-Year Outsourcing Agreement

LONDON; 6 June 2006 – Accenture has successfully finalised terms to provide Unilever with a broad range of human resources services – from recruitment to payroll processing and performance management – in 100 countries under a business process outsourcing contract signed by both companies. The seven-year agreement will begin in July. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The agreement is designed to transform Unilever’s HR operations and functions through greater efficiency and effectiveness as part of the company’s “One Unilever” program. Accenture also will provide Unilever with a range of learning services. The scope of the work will cover Unilever’s three geographic regions – Europe, Americas and Asia/AMET (Africa, Middle East and Turkey).

Accenture will provide services to nearly 200,000 employees in more than 20 languages from delivery centers in Bangalore, Manila, Dalian, Bucharest, Prague and Curitiba.

“This agreement will help support Unilever as it drives to transform its business and achieve increasingly higher levels of performance,” said John Zealley, managing partner of Accenture’s European Consumer Goods & Services Practice. “Unilever’s global cadre of professionals is one of the company’s most distinctive assets. An enhanced human resources capability is vital to ensure that these people have the support they need to maximize their efforts and Unilever’s future success.”

Under the HR portion of the contract, Accenture will provide recruitment, payroll administration, reward administration, performance management, workforce reporting, core HR administration and third party provider management services. In order to provide Unilever with these services, Accenture will deploy and manage critical HR software applications for the client. Under the learning portion of the contract, Accenture will provide content sourcing and development, program planning and delivery, learning system hosting, and management and administrative services.

Sandy Ogg, Unilever’s chief human resources officer, said: “This global outsourcing deal represents a major strategic choice for Unilever. We believe that it is best for our business if we concentrate on our core competencies and transfer what is our back office and make it into someone else’s front office. We can also leverage Accenture’s capabilities and expertise. This deal allows us to create a simpler, more agile global HR function to better support Unilever’s growth agenda.”

Unilever’s global HR staff (approximately 3300 employees) will be part of this transformation process. It is expected that fewer than half of these will be affected by the transition of roles and services to Accenture. “Unilever and Accenture will work together to minimize the impact on staff wherever possible,” Zealley said.

“This agreement supports IDC’s view that more and more global companies are fast realizing that outsourcing can be an important part of an HR program that seeks to provide not only efficient but also effective ways to maximize the performance of their global workforces,” said Lisa Rowan, IDC’s program manager for HR and Talent Management services research. “In terms of the global reach, scope of services delivered, number of employees served and business value to both Unilever and Accenture, this contract is a new benchmark for HR outsourcing engagements.”

The agreement extends an existing relationship between the two companies under which Accenture has been providing business consulting and IT services to Unilever for more than 10 years. Accenture recently signed a separate application outsourcing contract to provide Unilever with applications development, implementation and support services in Europe.”

“Given its scale and scope, this agreement is truly transformational,” said Kevin Campbell, global managing director of Accenture’s Business Process Outsourcing organization. “It will change the way human resources services are managed, delivered and received across the company. In addition to the HR functions that are being outsourced, the functions that remain in-house will be reengineered to ensure that the transformed service delivery model works as effectively as possible.”

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 129,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$15.55 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2005. Its home page is www.accenture.com.