Accenture ANZ chief executive Bob Easton cited two consecutive years of missed internal sales targets as the reason behind the cull.
However, insiders say overly ambitious growth targets imposed by head office are to blame, and that most local staff missed out on pay rises during its latest round of performance reviews despite the firm performing relatively well financially.
According to its most recent filing with the corporate regulator, Accenture ANZ posted a 14 per cent increase in profit to $60.6 million in 2019, with revenue up 4 per cent to $2.2 billion.
The firm’s parent company, Accenture plc, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange but has its headquarters in Ireland, which is widely known as one of the world’s biggest tax havens.
Accenture’s filing shows it spent $605 million, up 5 per cent, purchasing consulting services from its own overseas operations and also paid a royalty expense to its parent company of $160 million, up 3 per cent.
Total employee numbers at the firm were up 2 per cent to 5139 as of its financial year end of August 2019. The firm uses an assumed rate of wage increases of 7 per cent a year when calculating its employee benefit liabilities.
Mr Gray has worked at Accenture for more than 20 years, and is a member of the firm’s executive leadership team. He took over Accenture’s New Zealand business in 2015.
Accenture has found success in New Zealand via its involvement in the multi-year IT transformation of the country’s Inland Revenue Department. One tranche of the work which the firm won last year, to deliver an Oracle Cloud suite, was worth $NZ20 million ($19 million).
His new role, based in Wellington, will see him directly compete with Accenture for work as head of Datacom’s public sector business.
“Justin had both the local relationships and a wealth of experience to add a lot of value to the transformations that our customers are undertaking,” said Datacom chief executive Greg Davidson.
“His appointment further bolsters the leadership and expertise of our team to ensure we are well set up to address our public sector customers’ needs and to solve for the future.”
The privately held Datacom reported revenue growth of 17 per cent to $NZ1.29 billion and a net profit after tax of $NZ42 million in 2019.
The firm is competing directly against Accenture and other IT technology firm such as IBM.
Datacom boasts public sector clients such as the Department of Health (for which it has a five-year outsourcing deal worth $321 million), the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Home Affairs.
Accenture’s global restructure will see it organise its capabilities into four areas called Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology, and Operations.