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Anna Herlt

Senior PartnerMunich

Anna Herlt

Senior PartnerMunich

Advises companies as they seek to optimize the value of their research and development investments, particularly within the automotive industry

Anna leads McKinsey’s development-excellence group within the Operations Practice. In this role, she seeks to enhance continually our capacity for helping companies adopt world-class development capabilities and processes.

By working with executives, Anna focuses on supporting efforts to transform research and development performance. She has especially deep experience in the automotive- and aeronautical-engineering sectors. Since joining McKinsey, she has helped leading companies capture top-line value by building stronger organizational footprints, developing strategic technology road maps, and optimizing processes for engineering excellence.

Examples of her recent client work include the following: 

  • designing a holistic performance program for a multibrand automotive company, with work focused on capturing value from cross-brand synergies
  • leading a global automotive company through the development of a power-train road map to support efficient transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles
  • advising a commercial vehicle manufacturer on building an optimized global R&D footprint
  • developing a product-cost-optimization approach, using analytics driven by big data, for an aerospace company
  • orchestrating the lean transformation of an 8,000-employee engineering organization within an automotive company

Interested in sharing insights and inspiring conversation, Anna publishes actively on engineering, innovation, and product-development topics. During her studies in engineering, she participated in a research exchange program with the laboratory of combustion engines at Chiba University in Japan.

Published Work

Roadwork ahead! Commercial vehicles face new go-to-market challenges,” McKinsey & Company, December 2023

Smartphones on wheels: New rules for automotive-product development,” McKinsey & Company, October 2022

Innovation without borders: Meeting the promise of globalized R&D,” McKinsey & Company, September 2017

Stick to your knitting, then make the knitting stick,” McKinsey & Company, September 2017

A crucial harvest: Cultivating product-development talent,” McKinsey & Company, August 2017

Outsourced engineering services: From providers to collaboration partners,” McKinsey & Company, August 2017


Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
MS, industrial engineering