Presidential candidates, CEOs of global corporations, leaders in the nonprofit sector. What are we talking about? We’re talking McKinsey, BCG, and Bain alumni. The impact that MBB has had on the world is really remarkable. There are countless McKinsey, BCG, and Bain alumni that go on to do extraordinary things in business, government, the nonprofit sector, media, and more. Some are famous, while some are only known within their circles of influence. But all have this commonality: they worked as consultants for an MBB firm at some point in their career.
The list of great leaders that have been produced by these three organizations is long and diverse. They range from CEOs of massive corporations to founders of tech startups to Grammy award winning musicians to Prime Ministers. There are names you will instantly recognize, and some you won’t. If you measured the combined impact of MBB alumni, you’d have… well, a LOT of impact. Without further ado, we present to you the top alumni from McKinsey, BCG and Bain.
Notable McKinsey, BCG, & Bain Alumni
Pichai graduated Wharton school of business with an MBA, then joined McKinsey & Company as a consultant. He was soon hired by Alphabet (Google) to work on the search toolbar. 11 years later he was promoted to CEO of the company.
Sheryl Sandberg is one of the wealthiest women in the world with a net worth of around $1.6B. After an MBA from Harvard Business School, she worked for McKinsey as a consultant for a brief stint. Post-McKinsey, she worked for Google as VP of global online sales and operations. Eventually, Sandberg landed the role of COO at Facebook, a position she still holds as of this writing.
Vittorio Colao is the former CEO of Vodafone. After getting his MBA from HBS, he joined McKinsey working in the media, telecommunications and industrial goods sectors. He was CEO of Vodafone for 10 years, retiring from that role in 2018. In April 2020, Colao was appointed to a special COVID-19 task force by the Italian government.
McNerney held several top leadership positions at General Electric after a 4-year stint at McKinsey. Shortly thereafter, he joined 3M as chairman of the board and CEO. In 2005, he was appointed President and CEO of Boeing, a position he held until 2015.
James Gorman joined McKinsey after getting his MBA from Columbia Business School, where he made senior partner. Post-consulting, he transitioned to Merrill Lynch. After Gorman’s career with the organization, he landed his current job as Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley.
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Roland Berger is the German founder of the global strategy consulting firm under the same name. Berger worked for BCG as a consultant from 1962-1967, after which he left to found one of the premier strategy consultancies in Europe.
Benjamin Netanyahu is the Prime Minister of Israel, a position he’s held since 2009. Netanyahu worked as an economic consultant with BCG after graduating from MIT with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science.
Indra Nooyi has consistently ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women. She was CEO of PepsiCo for 12 years, and before that, worked in a variety of positions at companies including Johnson & Johnson, Motorola, and Asea Brown Boveri. She joined BCG as a strategy consultant early in her career, an experience she credits her leadership style to.
Jeff Immelt joined General Electric after graduating from Harvard Business School with an MBA. He served in a number of positions, eventually being named as Chairman and CEO in 2001. He held the position at GE until his retirement in 2017.
John Legend is a Grammy award winning musician and producer. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, he took a position as a consultant with BCG. Several years later, his music career took off. He would go on to win some of the most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry, including an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.
Meg Whitman is known for taking eBay from 30 employees and $4M in annual revenue to 15,000 employees and $8B in 10 years. She’s also had numerous roles in companies such as Walt Disney, DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble, Hasbro, and Hewlett Packard. She is currently the CEO of Quibi, a short-form video streaming platform. Whitman spent time as a consultant at Bain & Co.
Mitt Romney spent time at BCG before being hired at Bain as a consultant. He later left to co-found and lead private equity investment firm Bain Capital. After Bain Capital, Romney served as the 70th governor of Massachusetts, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, and is currently a U.S. Senator representing Utah.
John Donahoe started his 20+ years at Bain as an associate consultant in his 20s. After his time at Bain, he landed a job at eBay, where he would go on to lead the company as CEO for a number of years. Today, he serves as the president and CEO of Nike, Inc.
Scott Cook started his career working for Procter & Gamble, then transitioned to a role with Bain & Co. Cook co-founded Intuit in 1983, which owns products like QuickBooks, TurboTax, and Mint. He has a net worth of over $3B.
Susan Wojcicki’s garage is where Google was first ‘headquartered’ after it was founded in the late 90’s. Wojcicki became Google’s first marketing manager after a stint as a consultant at Bain. She was the main proponent for the acquisition of YouTube in 2006. Today, she serves as CEO of YouTube.
Whew. That’s quite an impressive list! There are many more influential people we could name, but this gives you a taste of the type of leaders that McKinsey, BCG, and Bain have a track record of producing. The combination of industry exposure, analytical experience, focus on the most important thing, and client management serves consultants well in whatever career they transition to.
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