About Christopher

Dr. Chris Musso co-leads McKinsey’s Americas Product Development Practice and is active in the Chemicals Practice. He is also a leader of McKinsey Design, where he helps oversee our efforts to put design at the heart of our clients’ business and growth strategies.

As an adviser to executives, Chris focuses on setting effective strategies and driving sustainable business growth. In his strategy work, he helps design R&D approaches, shape product strategy, and optimize the business portfolio. In his growth work, he fosters business development through innovation, pricing, and mergers and acquisitions.

With a particular emphasis on boosting growth through improved product performance, Chris helps clients optimize their products from both a cost and a feature perspective. While he works with a range of product-focused companies, Chris brings particular expertise in the chemicals and basic-materials sectors.

Examples of his work:

  • developing a market strategy for a major commodity-chemicals manufacturer, based on a broad market scan of current and potential uses of the client’s material; the effort generated 75 application ideas and several patent filings and resulted in two successful joint ventures, as well as a highly profitable new business
  • designing and planning the divestiture of the chemicals business of a large multinational industrial company
  • leading a team of 15 consultants and 250 client personnel in assessing and redesigning parts and systems of an automotive product portfolio, resulting in more than $2 billion in potential savings

Keenly interested in the evolution of the chemicals sector, Chris publishes and speaks frequently on how the industry can reach its growth potential. His speaking engagements include addresses at conferences held by the Association of Chemical Engineers, the Society of Plastics Engineers, and the Council for Chemical Research. Chris is the editor of McKinsey on Chemicals, our publication dedicated to understanding the forces reshaping the industry.

Building on his strong academic background in engineering and business, Chris founded and spent 5 years leading a small manufacturing-engineering and computer-modeling consultancy advising industrial food companies and the legal industry.

Published work

Back to basics: Creating value through superior products,” McKinsey & Company, August 2015

Oil-price shocks and the chemical industry: Preparing for a volatile environment,” McKinsey & Company, May 2015

Chemical innovation: an investment for the ages,” (PDF–289 KB), McKinsey on Chemicals, May 2013

How much will consumers pay to go green?” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2012

The path to improved returns in materials commercialization,” McKinsey & Company, August 2012

Design to value in medical devices,” (PDF–671 KB), McKinsey & Company, June 2012

Innovation in Chemicals: An interview with Dow Corning’s CEO and CTO,” McKinsey & Company, May 2011

R&D strategies in emerging economies: McKinsey Global Survey results,” McKinsey & Company, April 2011

The path to successful new products,” McKinsey & Company, January 2010

Past experience

MIT Welding and Joining Group
Researcher

Microcool Technologies, LLC
Founder and principal consultant

Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD, engineering systems

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MBA, operations management

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
SM, technology policy, materials science

Brigham Young University
BS, manufacturing engineering