PwC Consulting, a business of accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers, announced last week plans to change its name and brand identity. Given accounting firm Andersen's rocky history with consultancy Accenture, is this a sign of the times?
Clearly, PwC Consulting and its parent have been in talks for years about a possible separation, as was the case with Andersen and Accenture in the 1990s. In late January, PricewaterhouseCoopers says it plans to separate its management consulting business, PwC Consulting, through an initial public offering. If this weren't enough, now PwC Consulting is pursuing a name change. Why?
In the midst of Andersen's infamous paper shredding debacle and the harmful spotlight it cast on the entire accounting community, the watchword just might be 'values.' "Creating a new name will help differentiate us from PricewaterhouseCoopers and embody the personality, culture and values of our new organization," said Tom O'Neill, CEO of PwC Consulting, in a statement. "This is a critical step as we work toward independence. A new name will clearly signal not only our separation from PricewaterhouseCoopers, but also our unique identity in an extremely competitive marketplace."
Ironically, Accenture fought expensive legal battles to keep the 'Andersen Consulting' name, only to lose it and be forced to come up with a different name. Presumably, Accenture is content today to be removed from anything associated with Andersen.
PwC Consulting will work with global creative services providers to compile name candidates. Interestingly, PricewaterhouseCoopers reportedly spent millions to come up with its less-than-catchy name, after PriceWaterhouse merged with Coopers and Lybrand. PwC Consulting expects to announce its new name later this year.
Tom Kaneshige also writes for Line56.com
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