Former KPMG Consulting cuts staff again

Former KPMG Consulting cuts staff again

IT services company BearingPoint, formerly known as KPMG Consulting, has announced plans to eliminate between 450 and 550 jobs. Most of the cuts will happen in the North American and Asia-Pacific regions.

It is the second workforce-reduction announcement made by the company in little more than a month. On December 10, BearingPoint announced its intention to cut about 700 jobs from its recently acquired operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Before the December announcement, the company had about 17,000 employees, so the two rounds of layoffs, when completed, will lower the workforce to between 15,750 and 15,850 employees, a reduction of about 7 per cent.

On both occasions, the company has said the layoffs were necessary to rebalance its workforce with market demand. BearingPoint had about 9,000 employees as of May 2002, and nearly doubled its workforce in the next six months mainly through the acquisition of KPMG Consulting - now its Germany, Austria and Switzerland operating arm - and former IT consulting units and staff members from Andersen Worldwide.

A company spokesman said that about 90 per cent of the employees losing their jobs in the second round of layoffs were "billable people", a term used to refer to employees who deal directly with clients, such as managing directors, senior managers and consultants. About 45 per cent of the layoffs would be former Andersen employees, while the rest would be employees who already worked at BearingPoint before the Andersen deals.

BearingPoint focuses on the consulting and system integration sectors of the IT services market, two sectors that suffered from declining demand last year.

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