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Axel Karlsson

Senior Partner, Hong Kong
Draws on his expertise in technology, strategy, and operations to help telecommunications, technology, and media companies improve performance

About Axel

Axel advises telecommunications, technology, and media companies on a broad array of issues relating to technology, strategy, and operations. He previously led McKinsey’s Swedish office and later the High Tech Practice in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and relocated to Hong Kong in 2015 to lead the High Tech, Media, and Telecommunications Practices for Asia–Pacific.

Drawing on his deep knowledge of technology-enabled operations, Axel often advises clients on issues related to cost cutting, digital transformations, agile organization, product development, and supply chain.

Examples of his recent client projects include the following:

  • helping a leading telecommunications client dramatically cut cost while moving to an agile organization model
  • advising a telecommunications group on how to set up a digital transformation over the coming 5 years while simultaneously undergoing rapid cost restructuring
  • assisting a leading telecommunications-network-equipment company develop its corporate strategy and undertake a reorganization
  • supporting the adoption of an agile software-development model for a high-tech company
  • helping a media client reinvent its business model and launch a digital transformation
  • assisting a leading high-tech company leverage its big data assets to create new service lines for its customers
  • improving purchasing and optimizing R&D processes for a global data-storage company—yielding cost reductions averaging 30 percent across several categories

Published work

Japan at a crossroads: The 4G to 5G (r)evolution,” McKinsey & Company, January 2018

Digital music’s Asian beat,” McKinsey Quarterly, November 2016


Stockholm School of Economics
MS, accounting and finance