Because our future will be built on past experience


The beginning

Adia SA is founded in 1957 by Henri Lavanchy in Lausanne, Switzerland and rapidly expands into new territories. Ecco is founded in Lyon, France by Philippe Foriel-Destezet in 1964.


Going international

Adia expands overseas and begins a phase of acquisitions, tripling in size and gaining a presence in more than a dozen countries.


Expansion continues

Adia continues worldwide expansion whilst Ecco focuses on its home market to become France’s market leader. Temporary staffing becomes the world’s third-fastest growing industry.


Taking the lead

With sales topping $1 billion, Adia becomes the European leader in the people solutions field.


Joining forces

In 1996 Adia and Ecco – two of the world’s top three personnel services firms - merge to form Adecco, placing around 250,000 people in work every day.


Crossing the Atlantic

Adecco acquires Olsten Staffing of New York and becomes the No.1 recruitment company in the US with revenues of €11.6 billion.



With an increasing demand for professional and expert services, Adecco consolidates its businesses under three leading names with three dedicated global divisions to deliver our services.


World leader

With the acquisition of the MPS Group, the Adecco Group becomes the world leader in professional staffing.


Beyond staffing

The Adecco Group acquires Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions, Canada’s market leader in career transition, talent and leadership development and combines this with the Adecco Group subsidiary Lee Hecht Harrison, the global leader in career transition and talent mobility.

Our Story

There are many more chapters to come

When we started out 50 years ago, workplaces looked very different. Jobs for life were a given – quite simply, people stayed put.

Fast forward to today and the entire employment landscape has changed. There’s increased temporary staffing. Talent mobility. A global requirement to deliver working patterns that meet candidates’ needs without impacting business performance. Here at the Adecco Group we’ve followed every evolvement, every transformation, every new initiative. Every step of the way.

These days we’re proud to help develop our clients’ ways of working. To disrupt established ways of thinking and help them to devise the new ideas that will drive the HR Solutions industry forward.

Our story is one of innovation. Of pushing boundaries. Of smashing conventions. Of ensuring that conformity is no longer the norm. We’ve trail-blazed. We’ve pioneered. We’ve been the leaders of the workplace revolution.

And our story doesn’t end here…