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Bruce Simpson

Senior Partner, Toronto
Advises aerospace, basic materials, and healthcare clients on operations, performance transformation, cultural change, and continuous improvement

About Bruce

Bruce Simpson is a senior partner at McKinsey, where he has worked for more than 32 years; in New York, Paris, and—since 2000—in Toronto. He was the managing director of the Canada office for eight years and then convened the firm's global Operations Practice, delivering new approaches and client impact across all sectors in service operations, procurement, supply chain, new product development, manufacturing, and capital productivity. Bruce then led the New Ventures Competition, this venture capital approach identified, funded, and incubated startups inside McKinsey, and leveraged the firm's unparalleled access to leading companies and go-to-market channels, to help them rapidly scale up at clients.

Bruce now leads a broader effort to accelerate innovation, knowledge, and capability building in McKinsey's R&D, and coleads a major initiative across the firm to help organizations build societal focus into their core strategy, business, and operations. This global effort identifies which environmental, social, and governance (ESG) theme best fits a company's skills, and then embeds it into the core business, products, services, and culture; enhancing stakeholder and long-term shareholder value. Bruce wrote a chapter on this topic in the book Reimagining Capitalism (2016).

Bruce serves major institutions in the aerospace, mining, and industrial sectors, as well as in the financial, healthcare, and consumer sectors. His work includes designing and implementing new strategies and transformation programs which deliver long-term shareholder success as well as cultural renewal, increased employee engagement, and integration of stakeholders' economic, social, and environmental needs. He also does extensive coaching on agile leadership, helping leaders build skills to handle volatility and unpredictability in their businesses. Prior to joining McKinsey, he held various marketing and product management positions at P&G in Europe.

Bruce is an advocate for Canadian competitiveness in international business. He has published articles and given speeches on Canada in the Pacific Century, public sector productivity, Canada-Japan and Canada-China business relationships, as well as corporate purpose and ESG; shifting from “why” to “how,” and purpose during the COVID-19 crisis. He is active in the community serving on the diversity and inclusion board of Catalyst, the environment boards of Trans Canada Trail and Smart Prosperity Institute, and Human Rights Watch.

He holds a BA and an MA in law from Cambridge University, an MBA from The Wharton School, and an MA in international studies from the Joseph H. Lauder Institute for Management & International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bruce was awarded a Churchill Medallion by Her Majesty the Queen for exploration in China, was a professional ski racer and musician, and is a keen sea kayaker in the Arctic. He and his wife Tracy have three sons.

Published work

Purpose, not platitudes: A personal challenge for top executives,” McKinsey Quarterly, December 2020

The board’s role in embedding corporate purpose: Five actions directors can take today,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

The case for stakeholder capitalism,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

More than a mission statement: How the 5Ps embed purpose to deliver value,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Leading with purpose and humanity: A conversation with Hubert Joly,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

5 principles to shape corporate purpose during crisis,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, May 2020

Purpose: Shifting from why to how,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2020

Demonstrating corporate purpose in the time of coronavirus,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Flying people, not planes': The CEO of Bombardier on building a world-class culture,” McKinsey Quarterly, March 2011

Insights from business leaders on creating lasting change” (PDF–4.77 MB), Voices of Transformation 4, 2010

Elevating our vision of social responsibility” (PDF–970 KB), Corporate Social Responsibility Review, Conference Board of Canada, October 2007

Past experience

Procter & Gamble
Marketing brand manager

British Alpine Ski Team
Professional ski racer, then manager/coach


University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School
MBA; MA, international studies

University of Cambridge
BA, law; LLM