* New CEO will take over from July 1
* Dehaze had told the board his preference was to leave
* Shares down after Q1 results trail rivals
ZURICH, May 5 (Reuters) - Adecco has recruited the
former boss of French multinational food service company Sodexo
as its next chief executive, the staffing company said
on Thursday, as it announced first-quarter results which trailed
Denis Machuel will take charge on July 1 at Adecco, which
competes with Randstad and Manpower in
providing temporary and permanent staff to companies.
He will replace Alain Dehaze, who has reduced the Swiss
company's sensitivity to economic ups and downs by boosting its
IT training and consultancy business.
Dehaze, who had led Adecco since 2015, had told the board he
wanted to step aside "before the start of the next strategic
cycle," Chairman Jean-Christophe Deslarzes told reporters.
"The board believes now is the right time for CEO
transition, building on the strong foundations that are now in
place," he said. "This decision is the culmination of a
carefully planned succession process."
The search for a new CEO had taken place over the last year
before the board chose Machuel, who led Sodexo until October
Dehaze's realignment of Adecco also included the company's -
2 billion euro ($2.12 billion) deal to buy AKKA Technologies
last year, its largest-ever acquisition.
But his strategy did not turn around the slump in the
company's share price, as global hiring was hit by the COVID-19
During Dehaze's tenure, Adecco shares fell 46% in value,
underperforming the Swiss index which gained 42%. The downturn
meant the Zurich-based company fell out of the blue-chip Swiss
Market Index in July 2020.
During its first quarter Adecco posted revenues of 5.45
billion euros ($5.79 billion) up 10% from a year earlier, and
ahead of analysts' forecasts for 5.38 billion euros.
But removing the effect of currency movements, trading days
and acquisitions, revenues increased 5%, trailing Randstad which
reported a 15% jump and Manpower which had a 6% increase.
While its peers increased profit during the quarter,
Adecco's net income fell 26% to 92 million euros, weaker than
forecasts. Its main operating profit margin declined to 3% from
4% a year earlier.
Deslarzes said the drop was because the Adecco had been
investing, with the company taking on more workers in sales and
Its shares were down 2% in early trading.
"Our company is about a sound balance between EBITA margin
and revenue growth, that is what we are attacking now, we are
investing in growth," Deslarzes said.
($1 = 0.9422 euros)
(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Clarence Fernandez,
Subhranshu Sahu,Simon Cameron-Moore and Kim COghill)