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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.

Setting the Direction


Voices of CEO excellence: Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman

– The chair and CEO of the financial services giant explains how he reshaped the firm in the wake of the financial crisis.

XPO’s Brad Jacobs on building businesses through M&A

– Having done hundreds of deals, the leader of the logistics company explains what he’s learned matters most when making acquisitions.

One CEO’s journey to becoming a business builder

– In this interview, Patrick Hylton, CEO of NCB Financial Group, shares his experience launching a digital mobile-payments business... and what it takes to succeed.

MassMutual’s Roger Crandall on disrupting your own industry

– The long-time CEO of the US insurer reflects on the changes in the industry, the risk environment, and the CEO role.

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.

Organization and team


Opening doors for women leaders: An interview with Caroline Feeney

– As executive vice president and CEO of US businesses at Prudential, Caroline Feeney has found success by staying true to herself and helping others to climb the ladder.

Entrepreneur First CEO Matt Clifford on early stage talent investing

– One of Europe’s top talent investors talks about his unique approach to backing companies before they exist and how to find... the “edge” in a potential founder.

You can’t move too fast: A conversation with Andy Penn

– As CEO of Telstra, Andy Penn reinvented the company’s product offerings, digital capabilities, overall structure, and performance.... Here’s how he transformed the organization to meet the moment.

The future of (hybrid) work

– What does the future of work look like in Asia? How can leaders adapt to accommodate their employees’ wants and needs, attract... new talent, and still ensure productivity?

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.

Author Talks: All along the S-curve

– Nurture individual growth and team development within your company.

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.

Engaging the Board


In the boardroom with Alison Watkins: CEOs, boards, and leading through crisis

– Alison Watkins, who is a board member of CSL, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and Wesfarmers, believes that there is growing alignment—and a healthier balance—between CEOs and board members.

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 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

Connecting with Stakeholders


Building purpose-led businesses: An interview with Ingrid Johnson

– For Ingrid Johnson, president of Sun Life Asia, helping clients achieve financial security starts with building businesses under a common purpose.

Leading with purpose: An interview with Everest’s Juan C. Andrade

– Everest CEO Juan C. Andrade discusses how to be a proactive insurer and the mindset required to succeed despite and amid the challenges... of today.
Interview - McKinsey Health Institute

Leading with compassion: Prioritizing workplace mental health

– Mental-health advocate Poppy Jaman identifies strategies companies could employ to improve the health and well-being of their... workforces.

Charles Lowrey on putting purpose at the heart of Prudential Financial’s transformation

– The chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial talks about what it takes to keep a transformation on track.
Interview - Learn to Leap: Green Business Building Edition

Launching net-zero businesses: Lessons from a digital leader

– Many companies are hustling to start low-carbon businesses. Ram Ramachander works at the speed of a start-up and with the backing... of a corporation.

Author Talks: Tomorrow’s capitalist is socially conscious

– Fortune Media’s Alan Murray says stakeholder capitalism is here to stay.

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.
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.

Managing Personal Effectiveness


Author Talks: IBM’s Ginni Rometty on leading with ‘good power’

– Ginni Rometty shares her strategies for managing conflict, finding growth in discomfort, and remaining grounded in ambition to make you proud of not only what you do, but how you do it.

Resiliency and leadership in uncertain times: An interview with Splunk’s CEO

– Splunk CEO Gary Steele explains how digitization is elevating the topic of resilience to the boardroom and shares his thoughts... on successful CEO transitions.
Interview - McKinsey Health Institute

‘Stay grounded, stay humble’: Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson

– In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the first non-French leaders of the pharmaceutical company Sanofi explains cultural... transformations, the growth of AI in decision making, and how he stays humble.

Author Talks: Bill George sets a course for ‘true north’

– Former Medtronic CEO Bill George guides emerging business leaders through the management transition of a lifetime.
Interview - McKinsey Health Institute

‘Be brave, not perfect,’ says mental health advocate Poppy Jaman

– Poppy Jaman, CEO of the MindForward Alliance, shares her journey with mental health challenges and disorders, and discusses the... importance of overcoming stigma and providing support in the workplace.
Interview - McKinsey Health Institute

COVID-19: A catalyst to cancel burnout culture?

– Thrive Global Founder and CEO Arianna Huffington was attuned to the deleterious effects of burnout culture long before COVID-19... struck—and she’s on a mission to stamp it out.

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.

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.

Forging your own path: Sandra Horbach on building a career in private equity

– The cohead of US buyout and growth at Carlyle shares thoughts on the state of private equity, the path forward on diversity and... inclusion, and advice on building a successful career in the industry.

Crisis Response


John Chambers: ‘Breaking away during the tough times is when the next generation of great companies gets formed’

– Now a venture capitalist, the former CEO of Cisco Systems stresses the need for speed and agility in turbulent times.

Lessons in leadership: Leaning into ambiguity

– Judith Persichilli was confirmed as New Jersey’s commissioner of health shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. She recently... sat down with McKinsey to share her insights on leading through crisis and ambiguity.

Meeting a crisis head-on: How CEO Anna Bligh embraces uncertainty

– Anna Bligh, who formerly served as premier of Queensland, is no stranger to crisis. She explains how tough times can be an opportunity... for positive change.

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.

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.