Accenture: The growth of a global leader

Continuous innovation and rapid transformation have been themes throughout Accenture’s history.

Accenture is a great success story by any measure. The company’s history has been more than 60 years in the making—from the earliest days as a pioneer in the new world of information technology in the 1950s to its position today as a Fortune Global 500 industry leader.

Initially called Andersen Consulting, Accenture was formally established in 1989 when a group of partners from the Consulting division of the various Arthur Andersen firms around the world formed a new organization focused on consulting and technology services related to managing large-scale systems integration and enhancing business processes.

That same year Accenture formalized Business Integration, its framework for aligning a client’s people, processes and technology in support of its overall strategy to enable all components of the client organization to work to enhance business performance. Accenture has evolved from a systems integrator to a global management consulting and technology services company, providing the full range of consulting, outsourcing and related technology services.

A New Name, A New Direction
By 2000, Accenture had achieved more than a decade of tremendous growth, with net revenues exceeding US$9.5 billion and more than 70,000 professionals in 46 countries delivering to clients a broad range of consulting, technology and outsourcing services and solutions.

On Jan. 1, 2001, the company changed its name to Accenture (from Andersen Consulting) as the result of an arbitrator’s decision in August 2000 that severed the contractual ties between Accenture and Andersen Worldwide Société Coopérative (AWSC).

Accenture then launched one of the largest and most successful re-branding campaigns in corporate history. The new name reinforced Accenture’s new positioning and reflected the organization’s further growth and broadened set of capabilities.

Since its inception in 1989, Accenture had operated as a group of locally owned independent partnerships or other entities in more than 40 countries. (Accenture is and has always been a global organization and has never operated under a U.S. holding company structure.) By 2001, it became apparent to Accenture’s partners that maintaining the organization’s existing partnership structure would limit the company’s ability to continue its growth. Therefore, the partners, more than half of whom were from countries other than the United States, decided to transition to corporate form, enabling Accenture to build and acquire the necessary capital to remain competitive and fuel its growth.

In April 2001, Accenture’s partners voted overwhelmingly to pursue an initial public offering, and Accenture became a public company on July 19, 2001, when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ACN.

Today Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 305,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014.