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McKinsey Organizational Structure

McKinsey & Company has a decentralized organizational structure with mostly self-managing offices, committees, and employees. There are also functional groups and geographic divisions with proprietary names.

Understanding McKinsey’s organizational structure

Founded in 1926, McKinsey & Company is the oldest and largest of the so-called “Big Three” management consultancies. The company was initially started as a partnership before a restructuring saw it become a private corporation in 1956.

Today, McKinsey still mimics aspects of a partnership with employees referred to as partners and assigned a mentor.

The company also has a flat hierarchy, with the Managing Director (or Managing Partner) elected by a vote of senior directors and able to serve a maximum of three, three-year stints.

With the exception of company budgeting, McKinsey is a decentralized company. It is overseen by multiple committees and offices with each having its own area of responsibility.

What’s more, consultants are afforded a reasonable degree of autonomy. 

While the company has offices in more than 130 cities and 65 countries, it does not have a true headquarters. Instead, a pseudo headquarters is usually maintained in the home office of the present Managing Partner.

In the sections that follow, we’ll unpack McKinsey’s structure in more detail.

Shareholders Council

McKinsey’s Shareholders Council is simply its board of directors who establish the company’s policies and strategic direction.

The council is comprised of the Managing Partner and 30 senior partners around the world who are elected by their peers.

Some of these key personnel include:

  • Bob Sternfels – Global Managing Partner.
  • Gassan Al-Kibsi – Senior Partner, Middle East.
  • Pooneh Baghai – Senior Partner, Toronto.
  • Laura Corb – Senior Partner, New York.
  • Andrew Grant – Senior Partner, Auckland.

Acceleration Team

According to McKinsey, the Acceleration Team “is a global leadership body that accelerates the delivery of our client service and people mission.

To support the company’s overall health and performance, the team also connects leaders from different regions and key capabilities. 

The 21-member team, which includes Global Managing Partner Bob Sternfels, each heads what other companies would call functional groups. These include:

  • Innovation and Technology.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
  • Legal.
  • People, and
  • Finance.

Office Membership

A team of senior partners manages the company’s global offices under the following six geographic divisions:

  1. Asia (ex-China).
  2. Greater China.
  3. Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa.
  4. Europe.
  5. Latin America, and
  6. North America.

Practice Leadership

McKinsey’s practices are in place to assist clients with various endeavors such as sustainability, organizational performance, and transformation. Some practices have one leader, while others have multiple leaders. Some of the leader’s responsibilities include developing the company’s people and delivering client impact. 

Practices are segmented into two categories:

  • Capabilities – such as Digital, Growth, Marketing & Sales, Operations, Risk & Resilience, and Strategy & Corporate Finance.
  • Industries – such as Advanced Industries, Consumer, Financial Services, Energy & Materials, Insurance, and Life Sciences.

Key takeaways:

  • McKinsey & Company has a decentralized organizational structure with mostly self-managing offices, committees, and employees. There are also functional groups and geographic divisions under proprietary names.
  • McKinsey has a 30-member Shareholders Council with current Managing Partner Bob Sternfels at the helm. The 21-member Acceleration Team heads what other companies would call functional groups.
  • Various partners are involved in the management of the company’s global presence with operations divided into six key regions. Other partners are involved in the Practice Leadership team and are responsible for delivering client impact and developing the company’s people.

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