Careers at Adecco
The late Klaus J. Jacobs (1936), who died on September 11, 2008, was a leading, visionary entrepreneur who gave his whole heart and soul to his endeavors. His involvement with the human resource (HR) services industry began in 1992, with the acquisition of Adia Personnel Services, a European leader in staffing. He spearheaded the company's transformation into the global leader in HR services and a Global Fortune 500 Company following the merger with Ecco in 1996.
Prior to this, Klaus J. Jacobs forged a career in the global coffee and chocolates industries. In 1962, he became Director of Purchasing and Marketing for the then family-owned Jacobs AG coffee business. He became General Manager of the company in 1972, leading the ambitious expansion of its European operations. Under his leadership, the company merged with Interfood in 1982 to create Jacobs Suchard AG, Europe's number one chocolate and coffee enterprise. When the consumer-oriented elements of Jacobs Suchard were sold to Philip Morris in 1990, Jacobs founded Barry Callebaut, representing the non-consumer interests of Jacobs Suchard, a company that has since grown into the world's leading producer of high-quality cocoa, chocolate and confectionary products.
In addition to his business interests, Mr. Jacobs had a long involvement in philanthropic activities. In 1998, he founded the Jacobs Foundation, an international non-profit organisation that funds youth job training programmes, giving young people the opportunity to make a positive contribution to society.
Klaus J. Jacobs was Chairman of the World Scout Foundation from 1996 until 1998. He was also passionate about environmental protection and co-founded the association "Friends of the Hohe Tauern National Park" in Austria, serving as President from 1996 to 1998. From 2003, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Zurich Opera House and a member of the Board of the Association of the "Friends of Bayreuth". However, Klaus J. Jacobs' dedication and vision for a better world is best exemplified by his decision in 2001 to transfer his entire fortune to the charitable Jacobs Foundation.
Klaus J. Jacobs was born in Bremen, Germany, in 1936. He was educated in Germany and at Stanford University, USA.
Philippe Foriel-Destezet (1935), who is of French nationality, was named Honorary President of Adecco in May 2006.
He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Adecco Group from August 1996 until May 2006, and as Co-Chairman from June 2004 until November 2005.
In 1964, he founded Ecco S.A. in Lyon, France. He was Joint Chairman of the Board of Directors of Adecco S.A. from August 1996 to April 2002.
Other Board memberships include: Akila Finance S.A., Luxembourg, which he serves as Chairman.
Philippe Foriel-Destezet, Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, graduated from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) in Paris.