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Alexander Thiel

Partner, Zurich
Helps leading consumer-goods, apparel, fashion and luxury companies as well as retailers transform organizations to capture growth and unleash greater productivity

About Alexander

Alexander leads McKinsey’s Consumer Goods & Retail Practice in Switzerland and co-leads McKinsey’s organizational-design work in EMEA. He primarily advises companies in the consumer-goods, retail, and consumer-health industries. This work has taken Alexander across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States—including two years in our Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore offices.

In highly competitive industries, Alexander helps leaders set new commercial strategies, so they can find sustainable sources of business growth. When organizations must evolve to support the new strategy, he helps lead a broad-based organizational transformation. This work often draws on a zero-based approach to assess and redesign business models and organizations, building the core elements of the new model from scratch—a methodology Alexander helped pioneer.

Examples of his recent client work include the following:

  • directing a multiyear project to comprehensively rearchitect the commercial business model and organizational design of a global beverage company, resulting in a bottom-line improvement and a more dynamic, agile organization
  • leading a customer-centric assortment, pricing and promotion optimization at a leading global retailer, leveraging the latest in data science and analytics, resulting in sustainable performance improvements
  • guiding an revenue growth transformation for a global consumer-goods company, including the creation of an at-scale direct-to-consumer business that contributed substantial additional revenue in one year
  • leading a zero-based organizational effort to transform the business-support functions and marketing approach of a leading European grocery retailer, achieving substantial overhead cost savings
  • directing the rejuvenation of a well-known sporting good brands incl. major leaps in direct-to-consumers and e-commerce

Alexander is a frequent contributor to McKinsey publications on the consumer-goods industry and a guest lecturer at several universities. Before joining McKinsey, he worked in investment banking and as an entrepreneur in a consumer-healthcare start-up in Silicon Valley. Alexander is fluent in English and German and can converse in French.

Published work

Sporting goods 2022: The new normal is here, McKinsey & Company, January 2022

In fine jewelry and watches, sustainability shines through,”McKinsey & Company, December 2021

State of Fashion: Watches and Jewellery, McKinsey & Company, June 2021

Sporting goods 2021: The next normal for an industry in flux,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

Is the consumer-goods industry ready for the new world of work?,” McKinsey & Company, January 2020

What business can learn from professional football,” McKinsey & Company, September 2019

The ever-changing store: Taking an agile, customer-centric approach to format redesign,” McKinsey & Company, April 2019

Zero-based productivity—Organization: Using zero-based principles to forge a purpose-built organization,” McKinsey & Company, December 2018

Org redesign: start with a blank page,” McKinsey & Company, May 2018

Fighting portfolio complexity,” McKinsey Quarterly, McKinsey & Company, December 2017

How do winning consumer-goods companies capture growth?,” McKinsey & Company, April 2017

Western Europe’s consumer-goods industry in 2030,” McKinsey & Company, October 2016

The consumer sector in 2030: Trends and questions to consider,” McKinsey & Company, December 2015

Three myths about growth in consumer packaged goods,” McKinsey & Company, June 2015


Stanford Graduate School of Business

University of St. Gallen
BA, business and economics

Columbia University
BA, econometrics, business administration