Adecco’s Searle leaves on good terms for new recruitment challenges

Outgoing Adecco chief executive of UK & Ireland Peter Searle is exploring setting up a global mobility group as his next challenge.

Fri, 4 Sep 2015

Outgoing Adecco chief executive of UK & Ireland Peter Searle is exploring setting up a global mobility group as his next challenge.

Adecco has announced Searle, who has amassed almost 28 years’ service on and off at the group, is to step down. He will be replaced by US national John Marshall, who takes the role of CEO for UK & Ireland and from 1 October. 

Marshall has been executive vice president responsible for Adecco’s finance, office and legal business in North America since 2010, and will be relocating to London from Jacksonville, Florida.

Commenting on his departure, Searle was keen to point out he has left on “very good” terms. He went on to say that he would not rule out a third stint at the recruitment giant.

He told Recruiter: “For six years I have built a great team. We have had a great numbers. We had record profits last year. I’ve got five fantastic MDs running the business here.

“There’s no ‘secret squirrels’ or bad feelings or a massive pay off.”

As for his next move, Searle says he is looking to the world of global mobility to set up a new group. He feels these days recruitment firms provide added value through the outsourcing and management of workforces, and sees “huge potential” within the engineering and pharmaceutical recruitment markets.

“I would like to get hold of some companies that might belong to VCs [venture capital firms] or hedge funds … and buy their investments or persuade them to put a couple of companies together, and then create my own group.

Searle said he is not looking at anything that would conflict with Adecco’s business.

“That [new company] might even be in area Adecco might want to buy – who knows, eh?” he added.

Searle’s tenure at Adecco included his taking responsibility for its European and Asia Pacific offices of the group’s professional services companies under the speciality brand name of Ajilon, following Adecco’s 1999 purchase of the Delphi Group, where Searle was group managing director.

In 2005, after a global reorganisation he became the CEO of Adecco UK & Ireland, with additional responsibility for South Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. 

In 2006 he left to join Spring Personnel as CEO and then returned to Adecco as regional head of the UK & Ireland in 2009 when Adecco purchased Spring. He was appointed to the firm’s group executive committee in October 2009.

Senior-level appointments

Searle’s departure comes as part of a raft of senior level appointments made today across Adecco’s international operations.

They include the appointment of Mark De Smedt as regional head of Northern Europe as of 1 January 2016, who takes over from Martín Alonso, and Sergio Picarelli, who becomes regional head of Italy, Eastern Europe & MENA [Middle East & North Africa] and India from 1 October.

Picarelli takes over from Federico Vione. Vione assumes the new position of chief sales & innovation officer, focusing on the digital transformation of the group from 1 October.

In another move, Stephan Howeg has been appointed chief marketing & communications officer. 

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