News In Brief

Accenture, the world's No. 1 consultancy firm, said its partners voted "overwhelmingly" to take the company public via a $1 billion initial purchase offering. Among other services, the Chicago-based company works with clients on management and technology problems such as business reengineering, data-system design, and strategic planning. Analysts noted, however, that the decision to go public comes at a difficult time for the consulting industry. Rivals KMPG and PricewaterhouseCoopers recently either have seen their share prices plunge in value or have announced personnel cutbacks.

In layoff news:

* PPG Industries, the Pittsburgh-based maker of glass, paint, and chemicals, announced the layoff of 1,500 workers and closure of a plant in Saarwellingen, Germany.

* Business software maker Siebel Systems Inc. cut at least 800 jobs, or 10 percent of its work force. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company also said executive salaries will be slashed by 20 percent and bonuses are being suspended.

* Sega Corp. said it will cut 28 percent of its workforce by next March. That would put the payroll at about 700 people. Sega, No. 3 in the videogame console market after Sony and Nintendo, announced in January it is scaling back to production of games only and is trying to sell off as many as half of its subsidiaries to raise cash.

* International Forest Products Ltd., a Vancouver, British Columbia-based division of Japan's Mitsubishi Group, announced it will close a mill by Oct. 31 and eliminate 500 jobs. The company blamed pressure from environmental groups for the imposition of new limits on how much timber it may harvest.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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