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"My experience with Adecco is intimately linked with the creation of my family. I started to work for Adecco in Zurich in February 2005 within the Internal Audit Department. What struck me at first was the multi-cultural environment of the company. I seem to remember an HR survey which highlighted that the 140 employees at HQ was a mix of more than 40 nationalities. At that time, I was travelling almost 95% of my time in France and Italy. My first son was born in June 2006 and I expressed my wish to stop travelling and work in a more stable environment. I received the full support of the SVP of Internal Audit and was transferred in October 2006 to the International Finance department as External Reporting Manager. In February 2008, my second son was born. Another step in my family life, another step at work as I asked to get a part time role and work 80% which was accepted. Working as a mother of 2 can sometimes be challenging (short nights, sickness of the boys,...life as it is with small children!) but during the 3 years I spent in International Finance, I was never under any pressure and was always positively encouraged in my day-to-day work. After 3 years, I was looking for a new international challenge. Having built quite a strong network over the previous 5 years, I was proposed a position at Adecco Australia, which I accepted immediately. It is now 9 months that I am here, back to a full time position as Head of Internal Audit and we as a family are totally enjoying our Australian experience".
“My first contact with Adecco Group was 1995 when I was 25 years old. I used to work at NH Hotels Group as a Director of a Zaragoza unit in Spain. One day, I received a visit of a Branch Manager of Ecco (Ecco merged with Adia in 1996 to form Adecco) who presented me with the benefits of temporary work, and at the hotel we started to hire people to clean during peak times.
Three months later I saw an advertisement from Adecco in some newspaper looking for a Finance Regional Manger based in Zaragoza and I sent my resume. So fifteen days later I started my career at Adecco, where I’ve been working for more than fifteen years.
Nine months later, I was invited to move to Pamplona as Zone Manager. At this time Ecco Spain was opening new branches every week, so it was really fun to work in a company with a huge expansion process. After 12 months in Pamplona I was invited to move back to Zaragoza as a Regional Manager of a bigger zone with around 15 branches and the possibility to expand. At the end of 2001, the Group offered me the possibility to work in Lisbon as Country Manager for Portugal. I stayed there for three years and it was a wonderful professional experience.
In 2005, I went back to Spain as Operations Manager with responsibility for more than a half of our business in Spain, in addition to Portugal. My next move was to General Manager at the newly acquired HumanGroup.
Finally, since the end of 2009 I have a new and interesting project as General Manager of Brazil and the Andean Pact, with a special attention dedicated to Brazil. Today, I can say that it is a great challenge with ambitious goals but I’m absolutely sure that I will have a lot of fun in this new phase of my career. Brazil is a fantastic country and the Brazilian people are excellent professionals from whom I can learn a lot of things.
If I had to choose the things that I like most at Adecco, I’d choose:
To conclude, I’ve been working with the Group for 15 years because I still can have fun with my job and together with my team we can build business for the Adecco Group worldwide.
My history in Adecco can be summarised in a few words
I started my career in Adecco in the branch of Adecco Lecco in Italy as administrator. That is still something I’m very proud of as it gave me the possibility to understand the basic dynamics of our business.
After 7 months I became Sales Controller with responsibility for the administration of the main clients and pricing. That was the period when the market was growing in triple digits for two years in a row and Adecco was also doing better than the competition. It was an incredible experience, that I don’t think I will experience ever again, but I feel a bit nostalgic about it.
In 2001, I had the opportunity to move to Zurich and work in the Group Treasury as analyst and responsible for the funding of group companies. Although that meant losing direct contact with the business and the branches, during those years I managed to consolidate my financial skills and to understand the importance of cash flow for a company. In the same period, I also had the opportunity to work in different projects including the reduction of the DSO, financial and legal restructuring and improvement of international cash management.
During 2005 and 2006 I continued to work at corporate as controller for the global business lines IT, Finance and supporting HR in retention reporting and on executive compensation planning. In that period I achieved the certification in management accounting, which helped me increase my knowledge of US accounting principles, which are used by Adecco Group for the annual reporting.
Finally in 2007 I had my opportunity to go back to work in an operating unit in the UK, where I was project manager and Financial Operation manager with responsibility for payroll, billing, accounts payable and credit collection in the shared service centres in the UK and Bulgaria. In the two years I focused on the consolidation of the shared service centres of the five business units, in order to improve the quality of our processes, reducing the DSO and improving efficiency with the implementation of new systems.
In 2009 I was offered the opportunity to become Finance Director of Benelux. In this function I made a further step in my career and have assumed the overall responsibility for the financial results and the finance processes in the company. It is definitively not a function that you would like to take during the worst recession of the last years, as the main focus has been on adapting the cost structure to the market evolution. On the other hand, it is in tough situations that you can learn most and you appreciate the strength and skills of the colleagues you work with. Together with the team we have managed to achieve various projects, like the integration of the back office functions of acquired companies and the improvement of our reporting and cash flow management.
In the end, if I look at the years spent in Adecco and the various opportunities I had, what I mainly remember are the people with whom I have worked and learnt and I have a great sense of gratitude for the chance to challenge myself. Adecco still remains one of the companies where it is possible to use your own initiative to realise projects and achieve results. Although legislations, sox, icofr and many other rules have increased over time, it is still possible to challenge yourself and the team. Our core values reflect this, it is part of the Adecco Group’s DNA.
“In the Fall of 1987, I started my career with Adecco as a Branch Manager in Charlotte, North Carolina. At that time, Adia was a $300M company with one office in Charlotte. My Area Vice President (and mentor) was a vibrant woman who made sure that I received great training, support, and clear direction on how I could achieve my goals. Twenty-three years later, those important lessons are still with me.
In 1988, I received the “Rookie of the Year” award and was promoted in early 1989 to Area Manager. Through the years, Adecco provided an empowering environment, one that allowed me to work with autonomy, but also support – the perfect balance.
I have been fortunate to work with talented colleagues who are excited about and committed to our mission of providing great talent to great companies and making an important contribution in the workforce. To work with the global leader, in a dynamic industry, in a culture which embraces entrepreneurship and team spirit is incredibly rewarding.
Although Adecco is a much larger company than it was in 1987, what I value most are the close relationships with colleagues and customers, the unforgettable experiences, and the incredible opportunities - all of which have contributed to my personal and professional growth.”
Karine Storm is today the CFO for the worldwide Lee Hecht Harrison business and has held a number of different positions in the Group during the past 15 years, most recently as EVP Finance and a member of the LHH US Executive Management Team, where she has been instrumental in driving opportunities for increasing profitability and proactively managing expenses.
Immediately after graduating from College in Switzerland in 1995, she moved to California, where she started her career with the Adecco Group Headquarters in Redwood City as an Intern, and where she was able to develop her potential by assuming increasing and challenging responsibilities and interacting with Senior Management. Her constant dedication, passion and drive for excellence was rewarded by several promotions, first to Financial Analyst, then to Director of Mergers & Acquisitions, reporting directly to the Group CFO; then to Global Controller for the Ajilon division, followed by SVP of Strategy and M&A for Adecco North America, and finally to EVP Finance at LHH USA.
Karine holds an MBA degree with a specialisation in Finance from New York University (NYU STERN) and a degree in Economics from the University of Lausanne (HEC), Switzerland. Karine speaks French and English fluently and some Germany and Italian. She is a Swiss citizen and is married to an American. In her free time she enjoys working out, playing volleyball or tennis with her husband Jon and going on long walks with their golden retriever.
“Looking back at my professional path, the business knowledge and sense of accomplishment gained during the past fifteen years have been truly rewarding. I have moved up the corporate ladder by getting promoted on average every other year and each time these promotions have driven me to seek new challenges and to fervently pursue opportunities to learn. My work at Adecco has not only given me a good background in finance, strategy and mergers and acquisitions, but also the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and to partner with senior executives and with an international group of very diverse colleagues, who are dedicated, passionate individuals, committed to providing the best quality service in the industry, even in the most difficult times. These interactions have provided me an appreciation for teamwork in the business world and have taught me how different cultures can interact”.
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