Hitachi to hire 2,000 consultants worldwide

Hitachi will hire 2,000 consultants by 2008 in an effort to boost its consulting business.

Hitachi plans to add over 2,000 consultants around the world in a move to grow its business and IT consulting operations, the Japanese company announced Tuesday.

Starting in March, a new company, Hitachi Consulting Europe, based in London, will oversee Hitachi's new consulting operations, initially in the U.K., Spain and Portugal. Next year, Hitachi will start pursuing other European markets including France and Germany, it said.

Hitachi has around 950 consultants today, mainly in the U.S. but also in Japan. It plans to grow the number of consultants in Europe, Japan and the U.S. to 3,000 by 2008, it said.

IT vendors are being asked by customers to provide consulting services on topics ranging from management strategy to building, operating and maintaining IT platforms, according to Hitachi.

Other IT suppliers, most notably IBM, have been pursuing the consulting business in the past few years. Hitachi's new business will compete with IBM, which has 190,000 consultants in its IBM Global Services Group, as well as consulting companies such as Capgemini.

The changes at Hitachi also involve renaming Exsurge, a company it started in Japan in 2002, to Hitachi Consulting, and appointing it a new president and chief executive officer, Paul Yonamine. He was formerly an executive at consulting company BearingPoint.

All of Hitachi's consulting businesses, including Navigator Systems, which Hitachi acquired in February, will fall under the new group.

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