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CEO perspectives

How do the best CEOs think and act? What wisdom can they share? Explore a special collection of CEO perspectives that touches on everything from corporate strategy to personal working norms.


Corporate strategy | Organization and team
Board of Directors | External stakeholders
Personal working norms | Crisis response

Corporate Strategy


Box’s Aaron Levie on navigating SaaS’ several stages of growth

– After nearly two decades leading the file-sharing company, its co-founder and CEO talks about how his understanding of value in enterprise software has evolved.

How an acquisition invigorated an asset management leader

– Jenny Johnson, president and CEO of Franklin Templeton, explains how the firm’s acquisition of Legg Mason positions it for... the next phase of growth.

Kevin Hostetler of Rotork on accelerating growth

– The CEO of the industrial-equipment supplier shares lessons from an ambitious organizational transformation.

Improving strategic outcomes with advanced analytics

– AI and machine-learning tools can enhance strategic planning.

Michelle Gass of Kohl’s on shifting from survival to growth

– The CEO of the US retailer describes how the COVID-19 disruption helped refocus the chain’s strategy.

Simon Pryce of Ultra Electronics on growth

– Here’s how he turned an aggregation of acquisitions into a cohesive innovation engine.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

A digital-business builder: An interview with the CEO of Allianz Direct

– What does it take to build scalable new businesses inside of an older, more established company? Bart Schlatmann is building one... now.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Asia at the speed of light: An interview with the head of ReNew Power

– The energy transition will remake Asia, says Sumant Sinha, managing director of ReNew Power.

The Committed Innovator: An interview with Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo

– When a marketing executive discovered an unexpected market opportunity, she disrupted the company’s original business—and... became CEO in the process.

Organization and team


Author Talks: All along the S-curve

– Nurture individual growth and team development within your company.

Inside Rishad Premji’s quest to create a high-performing culture at Wipro

– The executive chairman of global technology services company Wipro wants to promote cultural change at the 77-year-old organization... by institutionalizing five habits in the workplace.

The rebirth of workspace design: An interview with Gensler co-CEO Diane Hoskins

– As offices consider how to reopen after two years of disruption from COVID-19, Hoskins sees an opportunity to create better, more... human-centric workspaces.

Improving mental health: An interview with One Mind’s Garen Staglin

– One Mind founder Garen Staglin knows the toll mental illness can take on individuals and families. He has dedicated his life to... mental-health advocacy and research—at home, at work, and beyond.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Shattering the status quo: A conversation with Haier’s Zhang Ruimin

– Having built Haier into a global powerhouse, its CEO now wants to overthrow 100 years of organizational orthodoxy.

Author Talks: Deanna Mulligan on smart skill building

– The former chair and CEO of Guardian Insurance offers a theory of change for those hiring, retaining, and retraining the next... generation of tech-savvy employees.
Interview - Learn to Leap #12

One start-up’s successful organizational approach to speed and flexibility

– Once agile practices are truly embedded in a company’s DNA, even a pandemic can’t dent its ability to respond quickly... to evolving customer needs—and the competition.

‘Making a big company feel small’: An interview with HCA Healthcare CEO Sam Hazen

– Protecting lives and livelihoods and ensuring stability remain the two main objectives for a large healthcare provider.

Reskilling for a changing economy: A discussion with Glenn Youngkin

– Youngkin, chair of the Virginia Ready Initiative, talks about easing unemployment and strengthening Virginia’s economy by connecting... people with training, financial support, and job opportunities.

Board of Directors


The role of the board in preparing for extraordinary risk

– Risks that threaten a company’s existence require unique interventions from the board.

Boards and the cloud

– A shift to the cloud requires boards to weigh numerous implications, from the technology infrastructure to cybersecurity.

Boards, talent, and culture

– Boards need to ensure that management walks the talk on culture and values.

The role of boards in fostering resilience

– The lessons learned from the current crisis can help corporate boards make the organizations they serve stronger.

Author Talks: Dambisa Moyo on how boards can work better

– In her new book, Dambisa Moyo explores the role of corporate boards in the 21st century and how they need to adapt to greater... demands.

Boards and decision making

– What the pandemic has taught board directors about high-consequence, low-probability decisions.

The Committed Innovator: A conversation with board director Ireena Vittal

– The global innovation expert on solving the puzzle of growth in emerging markets.

The board’s role during crisis and beyond

– Three seasoned board directors discuss the role boards are playing in guiding their companies toward recovery from the COVID-19... crisis.

Boards and cybersecurity

– How boards should prepare for the rising cybersecurity threat

External stakeholders


A complete corporate makeover: Keppel’s plan for sustainable growth

– CEO Loh Chin Hua is on a mission to transform Keppel Corporation from a conglomerate structure to a future-ready organization with strong purpose, relevance, and a goal of achieving sustainable growth.

Author Talks: Tomorrow’s capitalist is socially conscious

– Fortune Media’s Alan Murray says stakeholder capitalism is here to stay.
Podcast - McKinsey Global Institute

Forward Thinking on sustainable and inclusive growth with Ron O’Hanley

– A leading US financier discusses the route to carbon neutrality, what the pandemic taught us about resiliency, and the true meaning... of stakeholder capitalism.

Author Talks: Don’t call it diverse

– Workplace inclusion efforts can undermine inclusivity by labeling people who are not white, cisgender, or male as “diverse.”... Ruchika Tulshyan urges businesses to recenter on the experiences of women of color.

Putting stakeholder capitalism into practice

– What does it mean to embrace stakeholder capitalism? Two experts explain the rationale and the steps.

Emphasizing the S in ESG

– How PayPal has made societal impact and purpose the guiding lights of its strategy.

The role of ESG and purpose

– Answering three questions about purpose and environmental, social, and governance issues can help business leaders zero in on... what matters most for their organizations.

Author Talks: Can OKRs solve our planet’s climate crisis?

– Fueled by a powerful tool called Objectives and Key Results—OKRs—John Doerr’s new book offers an actionable... global plan to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, before it’s too late.

Author Talks: Paul Polman on business as a force for good

– Climate change and inequality are threatening our very existence. For a better future, business must step up.

Personal working norms


Salesforce’s Arundhati Bhattacharya on lifelong learning and talent reinvention

– Salesforce’s India CEO, and former chair of the State Bank of India, believes that lifelong learning will determine success in the future, especially as people start having multiple careers.

Author Talks: How to build a damn good business

– Business guidance can hinge on an assumption of existing financial access, making the advice irrelevant to budding entrepreneurs... with less privilege. Kathryn Finney seeks to level the playing field.

Always connect, never give up: An interview with Jason Wright

– As president of Washington’s football team, Wright is calling on his experiences as an NFL player, business school graduate,... and McKinsey partner to change an entrenched culture.

Author Talks: Indra Nooyi on leadership, life, and crafting a better future

– The trailblazing former CEO of PepsiCo discusses the events that shaped her life and offers a blueprint for work–family... conundrums.

Author Talks: April Rinne on finding calm and meaning in a world of flux

– When change is the only constant, a mindset shift can keep you grounded.

Author Talks: Michael Useem on leading with an edge

– How can leaders gain an elusive edge over competitors in a world turned upside down? Michael Useem draws lessons from ten executives... to build a road map for mastering leadership.
Blog Post

Lessons in leadership and well-being from Bill George

– The former Medtronic CEO and Harvard Business School professor joined McKinsey leaders for a conversation on how to create, protect,... and grow well-being practices on our teams and in our lives.

Author Talks: Hubert Joly on unleashing human magic

– The former chairman and CEO of Best Buy describes the leadership principles required to thrive in capitalism’s next era.
Podcast - McKinsey Global Institute

A happy warrior: Mellody Hobson on mentorship, diversity, and feedback

– The co-CEO of Ariel Investments shares honest thoughts about pushing for diversity in corporate America and reflects on her path... to success.

Crisis response


How Volkswagen board member Hiltrud Werner finds resilience

– Resilience is top of mind for Hiltrud Werner in her role as a member of Volkswagen’s board of management as COVID-19, new regulations, and the energy transition test the automaker’s mettle.

Aon CEO Greg Case: Resilience protects, but it also promotes growth

– As CEO of a company whose raison d’être is helping firms make better decisions, Greg Case has wide-ranging knowledge... and a nuanced perspective on resilience and its importance in volatile times.

What resilience means to Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar

– For Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar, resilience requires diverse perspectives, local solutions, playbooks to help anticipate the unexpected,... and a regard for unforeseen consequences.

How CEO Alain Bejjani, an emerging-markets leader, models resilience

– To manage through the pandemic, the CEO of Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim has leaned on servant leadership, multistakeholder engagement,... and his long-term goals.

Battling burnout: A conversation with resiliency expert Dr. Amit Sood

– A leading voice on psychological resilience believes that humans are built to tackle crises.

Steady state: Prioritising stability in a volatile market

– How Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher led a comprehensive reform of the Australian energy company’s operating model.

The 21st-century corporation: A conversation with Brian Chesky of Airbnb

– Airbnb’s CEO discusses how a company that flirted with demise during the pandemic turned its business around.

Renesas’s Hidetoshi Shibata on leadership through difficult times

– A CEO discusses past and future strategy in the evolving semiconductor sector.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Driving for resilience: An interview with the CEO of India’s Tata Motors

– Guenter Butschek, CEO of Tata Motors, shares his perspectives on the COVID-19-era challenges of leading a major global automotive... company based in India, and the opportunities just up the road.

‘Prepare for the marathon and be ready for the course to change’: An interview with the Boston Logan Airport CEO

– Massachusetts Port Authority CEO Lisa Wieland discusses why the contactless passenger journey is here to stay and how she’s building... agility and flexibility for her organization.