Getronics NV

Been around the block

Getronics may just have the claim to fame of being the world's oldest technology company: Its history goes all the way back to 1887 with the incorporation of the technical equipment installation firm Groeneveld, Van der Pol & Co.  Through a series of mergers and divesting, over the years the company morphed into Groenpol (specializing in technical equipment sales), Geveke & Groenpol, Geveke Electronics and finally, in 1988, Getronics (with a focus in electronics and networking).  As a subsidiary of Royal KPN NV, Getronics has become a global ICT consulting service provider with more than 13,000 employees who handle 600,000 client calls and 13 million e-mails per month, bringing in revenue of $2.08 billion in 2009. 

Getronics has been the leading ICT-service provider in The Netherlands.  Around the world, the company manages two million desktops.  For the past 15 years, more than 100 outsourcing projects have been completed by Getronics, and more is sure to come.  What separates the company from the other ICT service providers?  Getronics is the only ICT company that manages digital signatures at a maximum security level.  Over the years, the company has been developing and strengthening digital security solutions.  Getronics is headquartered in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands.

Making it big

Getronics started in 1887 when the company called Groeneveld, Van der Pol & Co's Elektronische Fabriek NV built a technical installation company that caters to the ship-building industry and public utilities.  It took a few decades until, in 1968, the company merged with Geveke NV to become Geveke & Groenpol NV.  Steenkolen Handelsvereniging NV (SHV) purchased Geveke & Groenpol NV two years later.  Now that SHV owned Geveke & Groenpol NV, it decided it would be better if it had withdrawn the company from the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (ASE), and it did.  It then split it into two business units in1972, an installation division and a sales division, which is called Geveke Electronics.  Exactly 11 years after the fateful split up, in 1983, Geveke Electronics had grown into a more powerful company and purchased a large part of SHV's shares.  Its new parent company, Geveke Electronics International NV, now holds all its subsidiaries.  In 1988, the company was re-launched on the ASE under the name Geveke Electronics NV, but was later changed to Getronics NV.

A rocky road

In 1999, Getronics acquired network services giant Wang Laboratories, and although the purchase had strategic merit, the price was almost too much for Getronics to bear.  After incurring heavy debts and nearly declaring bankruptcy, the firm finally regained its footing in 2004, thanks to the guidance of financial experts Peter van Voorst and Jan Docter, who were brought on as the firm's CEO and CFO, respectively.  But its success was by no means secure and, as a result, the firm undertook some restructuring to realign itself with what management perceived to be its greatest strengths.  The most notable changes occurred in January 2006 when Getronics suddenly pulled out of the Italian market; later that year, it reduced its presence in Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland; and by the end of the year, it had also divested its operations in France.  In August 2006, the firm sold its human resources division to staffing agency Randstad Holding.  It was clear that the firm's failures weren't confined to Europe after it lost two major North American contracts, one with Wachovia, the other with BP America.  Also in August, Getronics announced a "breakout program" aimed at laying off hundreds of staff, beginning with 500 employees in North America.

Key moves

Getronics reached a decision in early 2009 to reduce personnel costs in order to maintain profitability goals.  A total of 1,400 employees were affected by the plan to cut personnel costs, 950 from its own staff and about 700 employees will be laid-off in The Netherlands.  That same period, Getronics aligned itself with APX, CompuCom Systems Inc., Getronics Middle East, NTT DATA Getronics, ServiceOne Getronics and TecnoCom.  The Getronics Workspace Alliance formed a new force in global workspace environment that will span the American, European and Asian markets.  These key moves early in the year proved to be critical, as it helped Getronics in the financial department.  A strong $2.08 billion in 2009 for Getronics means that the company is on the right path.  Moreover, the company's drive towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of the main factors Getronics maintains its position as the biggest ICT service provider in the Benelux region.  Embedding social responsibility has been a tradition for the company as it sets an example to other companies to be aware of what's going on with them.  Having data centers as one of the top five in the world in terms of efficiency is a feather on the cap for Getronics, and it will continue promoting CSR for years to come. 



Getronics NV


Rontgenlaan 75, 2719 DX Zoetmeer
Postbus 2
Zoetermeer 2700 AA
Phone: +31 88 6610079
www.getronics.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • CEO: Erik van der Maijden
  • 2009 Employees: 13,936

Key Financials

  • 2009 Revenue: $2,097 million

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