McKinsey & Company
McKinsey & Company is a global management consultancy that is a launch pad for some of the top executives in transnational firms around the world. It claims to have 20,000 former employees in leadership positions globally.
James O'Shea and Charles Madigan noted this trend in their 1997 book Dangerous Company:
McKinsey business missionaries not only whisper and advise at the highest levels, they have a propensity for moving from the consulting world into the executive suite. IBM, Sears, AT&T, American Express, the list could stretch for pages, all huge companies that first bought McKinsey's top dollar advice, and then saw McKinsey veterans shift loyalties and join executive ranks, frequently turning back to their old employer to buy consulting services. It is one of the world's greatest old-boy networks. Job placement is only part of the point. When a Fred Gluck moves from directing McKinsey to running Bechtel Corp., in San Francisco, he takes along McKinsey values, experience, and most important, contacts. There are signs of these connections almost everywhere now, the legacy of decades of consulting and executive contacts.
Examples of McKinsey employees who went on to bigger and better positions in business and government include:
- John Cecil, former CAO, Lehman Brothers
- Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone
- Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton
- Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State
- Don Cruickshank, former general manager of the Sunday Times(UK), former chairman of the London Stock Exchange
- Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., former chairman and CEO of IBM and RJR Nabisco, and chairman of The Carlyle Group
- Harvey Golub, former chair and CEO of American Express, former chair of AIG
- James P. Gorman, President and CEO of Morgan Stanley
- Stephen Green, chairman of HSBC
- William Hague, former UK Tory leader
- Fred Hilmer, former CEO of Fairfax newspapers, former chair of Pacific Power, Vice-Chancellor of University of NSW
- Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana
- Michael H. Jordan, former chair and CEO of Pepsi Co and Westinghouse Electric
- Marius Kloppers, CEO of BHP Billiton
- James McNerney, chairman and CEO of Boeing
- Lukas Muhlemann, former chair of Swiss Re
- Helmut Panke, former chairman and CEO of BMW AG
- Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
- Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
- Jonathan Schwartz, former CEO of Sun Microsystems
- Christopher A. Sinclair, former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
- Jeffrey Skilling, former CEO of Enron
- Kevin Sharer, CEO of Amgen
- Adair Turner, former Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Chair of the Financial Services Authority
- Peter Wuffli, former CEO of UBS AG
These people are also board directors of other companies and members of influential business coalitions and policy groups.
McKinsey & Co fosters an alumni network of former employees, maintaining a database of them, an alumni centre on its website, and organising an annual reception for them. It states on its website:
Our alumni number nearly 23,000 and work in virtually every business sector in 120 countries. Through formal events and informal networking, former McKinsey consultants make and sustain professional relationships. This dynamic network is a lasting benefit of a McKinsey career.Reference: ‘About Us’, McKinsey & Company, 2011.
We go to extraordinary lengths to support the people we hire to succeed. We provide them with unrivaled opportunities for growth and global impact. This passion to help continues in our alumni, who remain connected to and engaged with our firm and its people.