Global consultancies quit Russia

KPMG and PwC follow DXC and Accenture, leaving 14,500 staff – probably – without a gig


Four top global consultancies, all with big IT practices, have quit Russia.

PwC on Sunday decided that Russia's invasion of Ukraine means it "should not have a member firm in Russia and consequently PwC Russia will leave the network."

KPMG also chose Sunday for its announcement, which it argued was necessary because "We believe we have a responsibility, along with other global businesses, to respond to the Russian government's ongoing military attack on Ukraine."

The firm's Russia and Belarus outposts will leave the KPMG network. "KPMG has over 4,500 people in Russia and Belarus, and ending our working relationship with them, many of whom have been a part of KPMG for many decades, is incredibly difficult," the firm's statement reads, adding "This decision is not about them – it is a consequence of the actions of the Russian government. We are a purpose-led and values-driven organization that believes in doing the right thing."

Staff will be offered "transitional support".

The two consultancies' decisions to quit Russia follow similar moves last week by Accenture (on March 3) and DXC (March 4th).

The four firms collectively employed 14,500 people in Russia and Belarus.

Quitting Russia is not only a blow to those staff. Top-tier IT vendors routinely turn to global consultancies when engaging with businesses that have complex challenges to address. The likes of Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle often run joint projects with big consultancies. With those vendors and their delivery partners now all backing out of Russia, local users will be combing through the fine print of their contracts wondering whether they'll still be able to get help.

And they just might be OK. The announcements from PwC and KPMG both mention their local presences leaving "the network" rather than shutting down completely. That's noteworthy because, as PwC's post points out, each nation's PwC is a separate legal entity.

That raises the prospect that the firms' Russian presences could carry on independently – if their managers can manage to keep them afloat. If PwC's Russian clients contracted with PwC Russia, contracts and cash flow will presumably persist and so will the firm's capabilities. It's conceivable the Kremlin could subsidize the remaining rumps of the four consultancies under schemes announced over the weekend.

Even if the remnants of the consultancies remain afloat, they won't get the same access to vendors that makes relationships with global consultancies valuable. Projects that have hit trouble will struggle. But in Putin's Russia, merely complaining about that will be dangerous – which is why the consultancies have left. ®

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • International operation takes down Russian RSOCKS botnet
    $200 a day buys you 90,000 victims

    A Russian operated botnet known as RSOCKS has been shut down by the US Department of Justice acting with law enforcement partners in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. It is believed to have compromised millions of computers and other devices around the globe.

    The RSOCKS botnet functioned as an IP proxy service, but instead of offering legitimate IP addresses leased from internet service providers, it was providing criminals with access to the IP addresses of devices that had been compromised by malware, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California.

    It seems that RSOCKS initially targeted a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as industrial control systems, routers, audio/video streaming devices and various internet connected appliances, before expanding into other endpoints such as Android devices and computer systems.

    Continue reading
  • Ukraine's secret cyber-defense that blunts Russian attacks: Excellent backups
    This is why Viasat attack – rated one of the biggest ever of its kind – had relatively little impact

    RSA Conference The Kremlin-backed cyberattack against satellite communications provider Viasat, which happened an hour before Russia invaded Ukraine, was "one of the biggest cyber events that we have seen, perhaps ever, and certainly in warfare," according to Dmitri Alperovitch, a co-founder and former CTO of CrowdStrike and chair of security-centric think tank Silverado Policy Accelerator.

    Alperovitch shared that opinion during a global threat briefing he delivered with Sandra Joyce, EVP of Mandiant Intelligence, at the RSA Conference on Tuesday.

    The two suggested that the primary purpose of the attack on satellite comms provider Viasat was to disrupt Ukrainian communications during the invasion, by wiping the modems' firmware remotely, it also disabled thousands of small-aperture terminals in Ukraine and across Europe. The attack therefore disrupted satellite connectivity for thousands, and disabled remote monitoring of 5,800 wind turbines in Germany.  

    Continue reading
  • Taiwan bans exports of chips faster than 25MHz to Russia, Belarus
    Doom it is, then, Putin

    Taiwan's government has enacted a strict ban on the export of computer chips and chip-making equipment to Russia and Belarus, a move that will make it even harder for the two countries to access modern processors following export bans from other countries.

    The island nation is the world's largest advanced chip manufacturing hub, so the export ban carried out by Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs, reported last week, will make it more difficult for Russia and Belarus to find chips for a variety of electronics, including computers, phones and TVs.

    Russia has already been scrambling to replace x86 processors from Intel and AMD that it can no longer access because of export bans by the US and other countries. This has prompted Russia to source x86-compatible chips from China for laptops that will be considerably slower than most modern systems. The country is also switching to servers using its homegrown Elbrus processors, which Russia's largest bank has found to be inadequate for multiple reasons.

    Continue reading
  • HP turns back on $1b in annual sales by quitting Russia and Belarus
    Revenue hit for HP far larger than many tech providers post-pullout but PC, print giant stays course

    PC and printer giant HP Inc. is boldly but belatedly turning its back on Russia and Belarus due to the continued conflict in Ukraine.

    HP was among the first wave of tech companies to suspend shipments to the countries soon after Russia invaded its neighbor on February 24, but now the company's president and CEO Enrique Lores is making the move more permanent.

    "Considering the COVID environment and long-term outlook for Russia, we have decided to stop our Russia activity and have begun the process of fully winding down our operations," he said on a Q2 earnings call with analysts.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022