Aerospace and Defense

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About John

John leads McKinsey’s global Aerospace and Defense Practice from the firm’s London office. He combines client service to aerospace companies and public sector defense organizations with substantial research efforts.

John brings decades of experience helping prime and subcontractors navigate the cycles that are endemic to the defense industry. He has contributed to several organizational restructuring efforts, advising contractors on acquisition strategy, pre-merger planning and post-merger integration as they contend with sharp fluctuations in program and defense budgets. Most recently, he led projects to optimize purchasing and supply chain management for an aviation parts manufacturer and advised other aerospace and defense firms on growth and corporate strategy.

John is a prolific author and is widely regarded as an industry expert. While working from California, John directed McKinsey's joint research project with Stanford University on the global defense electronics industry, yielding some of the first quantitative data on the financial and operational benefits of procurement reform. More recently, he led McKinsey’s benchmarking study of 33 defense forces around the world, capturing and dissecting major differences in efficiency and effectiveness in the conversion of defense inputs into operational outputs.

John speaks regularly on topics ranging from the use of commercial practices in the defense industry to understanding the competitive realities in various aerospace markets. He has contributed his perspective on aerospace and defense topics in several publications, including The Financial Times, Aviation Week & Space Technology, Jane’s, Foreign Policy and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to other interests, John is a licensed pilot.

Published work

Defense outlook 2017: A global survey of defense-industry executives,” McKinsey & Company, April 2015

Why management matters for productivity,” McKinsey Quarterly, September 2014

Defense offsets: From ‘contractual burden’ to competitive weapon,” McKinsey & Company, July 2014

Fiscal shock, combat awe,” McKinsey & Company, June 2014

Enlisting productivity to reinforce European defense,” McKinsey & Company, August 2013

Defense outlook 2015: A global survey of defense-industry executives,” McKinsey & Company, April 2013

Managing a downturn: How the US defense industry can learn from its past,” McKinsey & Company, April 2013

The cybersecurity threat to US growth and prosperity,” Cyberspace: A new domain for national security, Aspen, 2012 (PDF–468 KB)

Private sector development in Afghanistan: The doubly missing middle,” American interests in South Asia, 2011 (PDF–426 KB)

An expert view on defense procurement,” McKinsey on Government, 2010 (PDF–272 KB)

  • Harvard Business School MBA
  • University of California at Berkeley BS, electrical engineering and computer science

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