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Bill Russo

Senior PartnerMexico City

Works closely with retail and consumer goods companies across the globe to develop growth strategies and transform operations.

Previously based in Nairobi, Bill has helped retail and consumer clients in Sub-Saharan Africa achieve sustainable growth and operational excellence. He has worked closely with clients on strategy, growth, and operations issues, and led a major McKinsey initiative to develop insights into consumer spending, preferences, and behavior across Africa.

Bill's expertise includes merchandising, category strategy, assortment optimization, format redesign, and supply-chain transformation.

Recent examples of his client work include the following:

  • helping to develop growth strategies for consumer companies Egypt,┬áNigeria, and South Africa, each of which resulted in significant market share gains
  • leading an end to end merchandising transformation for a leading African retailer
  • leading a large store operations transformation for a leading apparel retailer
  • developing a new grocery format for a leading African retailer
  • supporting the design and implementation of a supply chain transformation program for a leading FMCG company

Prior to joining McKinsey. Bill spent 7 years as a US naval officer and submariner, earning a master's degree in nuclear engineering from the US Naval Nuclear Power School. He joined McKinsey in Atlanta, relocating to South Africa in 2007. Bill is now located in our Mexico City office.

Published work

Lions (still) on the move: Growth in Africa’s consumer sector,” McKinsey Global Institute, October 2017

East Africa: The next hub for apparel sourcing?” McKinsey & Company, August 2015

Winning in Africa's consumer market,” McKinsey & Company, July 2015

The rise of the African consumer,” McKinsey Africa Consumer Insights Center, November 2012

“Winning the $30 trillion decathlon,” McKinsey & Company, August 2012

Africa’s path to growth: 200 million new customers,” McKinsey Quarterly, June 2010

Past experience

Southwire, Inc.
Business transformation team leader

Phelps Dodge
Manager, strategic planning and business development

US Navy
Nuclear submarine officer


Georgia State University, Robinson School of Business

US Naval Nuclear Power School
MEng, nuclear engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology
BS, electrical engineering