Accenture Inks Estimated $1.1 billion Multi-Year Unilever Agreement

Accenture will handle activities such as recruitment and sourcing of candidates, rewards, training, and performance management for Unilever, but benefits aren’t included.

June 9, 2006
In a deal with an estimated value of $1.1 billion, outsourcing giant Accenture has signed a seven-year contract to provide transactional and administrative human resources services to Unilever, a global consumer products company based in London with 206,000 employees worldwide and sales topping $51 billion.

Accenture would not disclose the deal’s price tag; the estimate of the deal’s value comes from information technology consultant IDC.

The contract calls for Accenture to handle such activities as recruitment and sourcing of candidates, rewards administration, training and performance management. In addition, under the learning portion of the contract, Accenture will provide content sourcing and development, program planning and delivery, and learning system hosting, as well as management and administrative services.

The contract does not include benefits administration, "which is pretty unusual for a deal of this size," says Michel Janssen, president of supplier solutions for Everest Group, a Dallas HRO consultant.

Unilever makes such products as Dove soap and Lipton tea. The company has been shifting more services to outsourcers in recent months as part of a plan to slash annual spending by about $900 million.

This year, Unilever tapped Accenture for a separate contract to outsource its European information technology operation. Last year, IBM was chosen as outsourcer for financial transaction services in Europe.

--Garry Krantz with Jessica Marquez