Accenture plans to slash 19,000 jobs worldwide as it attempts to cut costs amid a gloomy economic picture.
The Irish-American professional services company said in a Thursday filing that it would spend $1.2 billion in severance to cut 2.5% of its workforce over the next 18 months, and another $300 million to consolidate its office space.
More than half of the axed roles would be among back-office staff, the company said.
Accenture (ACN), which has 738,000 employees globally, said in its latest quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it continues to hire, but had “initiated actions to streamline [its] operations and transform our non-billable corporate functions to reduce costs.”
The $167 billion company downgraded its revenue growth outlook for the 2023 fiscal year to between 8% and 10%, from its previous estimate of between 8% and 11%.
Shares in Accenture rose 3.9% to hit $263 apiece in early trade after its announcement. The New York-listed stock is down by more than 5% over the past 12 months.
Accenture’s rivals are also trying to trim their costs. Consulting giant KPMG announced in an internal memo last month that it would cut almost 2% of its US workforce as it anticipated waning client demand, according to a Financial Times report.
McKinsey could also slash as many as 2,000 non-consulting staff in one of its biggest round of layoffs ever, Bloomberg reported last month, citing unnamed sources close to the matter.
It not just consulting feeling the pinch. Thousands of workers in the tech industry have been laid off in recent months as higher interest rates, inflation and recession fears have led to a pullback in advertising and consumer spending.
Last week, Facebook-parent Meta said it planned to lay off another 10,000 workers, its second round of significant job cuts in four months. Taken together, the cuts will reduce Meta headcount by about 25%.