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UK – Adecco caught in Olympic torchbearer media row

11 June 2012

The Daily Mail has recently criticised the commercialisation of the Olympic Games as originally torchbearers were supposed to be “local heroes.” “Instead, we have the unedifying spectacle of sponsors handing out torch relay slots as corporate goodies,” the paper writes.

Among the sponsor torchbearers are Adecco’s CEO, Patrick de Maeseneire, who will march through Camden in North London on 26 July. Adecco was named the official recruitment services provider for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in January 2009.

Mr De Maeseneire has responded to the harsh allegations of “corporate greed” and said he was only an “ordinary man” who will bear the torch, as the Belgian paper Nieuwsblad reports.

“I will walk [the torch] on Thursday, July 26, the day before the official opening of the Games in London. Since 2000 we have been [a] partner of the International Olympic Committee, the Paralympics and local Olympic committees in more than forty countries,” he said.

“We have given thousands of people work in London. We have helped nine thousand athletes who ended their [sports] careers to help them find normal work. We therefore do all we can to help the Games and the Olympics needs the support of business.”

Other torchbearers include the Indian-born steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, who invested £19.6 million in the construction of the Orbit sculpture on the London Olympic Park. His son Aditya, the company’s financial officer, will also carry the flame.


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