Temporary employment group Randstad is getting a new CEO. As of March 2022, the current chairman of the board Jacques van den Broek will pass the baton to Sander van ‘t Noordende, former director of consultancy and technology company Accenture. Randstad announced this on Thursday.
Van den Broek says goodbye to Randstad, worldwide market leader in the temporary employment sector, after 33 years. He started there in 1988, after which he worked his way up from branch manager in Rotterdam to head of marketing Europe. He started as a director in 2004 and as chairman since 2014.
In an interview with NRC earlier this year, Van den Broek praised the Dutch corona support to companies, which Randstad made use of. “I think that the government, especially compared to 2009, has done an excellent job in keeping NOW jobs with wage subsidies.”
Randstad received an advance of more than 80 million euros. As a result, all employees and flex workers could be paid their full wages until the end of May 2020.
Also read this interview with Van den Broek: ‘Everyone a steady job? That’s not the solution’
Youngest board chairman
The new CEO Van ‘t Noordende worked for 32 years, from 1987 to 2019, at the management consultancy Accenture. Until 2001 it was called Andersen Consulting. After three years, he changed jobs and started working at Het Financieele Dagblad as head of marketing. Already after half a year he left again and returned to Andersen.
After that, his career picks up speed. After five years he becomes a partner of the Dutch partnership. At Andersen, he is involved in advising energy companies during market liberalization. In 1999 he becomes a partner within the worldwide partnership.
In 2001, when Andersen Consulting’s name changes to Accenture, Van ‘t Noordende, aged 38, becomes the youngest CEO of the Dutch branch. He was tasked with doubling the 800-person branch in three to four years in order to face competition from KPMG and IBM. “He is ambitious, fast, very focused on results and straightforward,” former Accenture colleague Fred Geerts told NRC at the time. “I would be surprised if the Netherlands is its final destination.”
Indeed, it was not Van ‘t Noordende’s last position at Accenture. He has held various directorships, the most recent being director of the Products Operating Group.
He resigned from that position in 2019, after it became known that not he but Julie Sweet would become the new chairman of Accenture. The position of CEO would have been the ultimate pinnacle of his career, but that was now out of reach, he said at the time against the FD. “Within Accenture I have all the roles I wanted to be able to fulfill. (…) I’m 56, my next chance is in six, seven years. Then I’ll be 63.”
Earlier this year, he joined Randstad’s supervisory board.
‘Diversity is not an ideology’
Van ‘t Noordeinde was one of the first Dutch top executives to advocate diversity policy within Accenture. He said to the FD in 2014 that diversity is ‘not a matter of ideology’. “I have the feeling that we are moving forward with a diverse organization.”
In return for Bloomberg he shared that in 1987, when he had just started at Accenture, he came out openly at a company party by bringing his partner with him. He advised young LGBTQ people in the business world: “Go out and network. Get out there and, as your confidence grows, advance the networks and advance the lgbtq agenda in your company.”
Also read this article: Randstad is experiencing golden times as companies are desperate for workers again
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of October 22, 2021