This is a profile image of Erik Roth

Erik Roth

Senior PartnerStamford

A leading thinker and adviser on innovation-led growth, R&D, and marketing strategy

Erik is a leader in our Strategy Practice in the Americas and directs our work in innovation globally. He is one of the firm’s foremost experts on matters related to innovation and its critical components, including innovation strategy, new-product development, business-model creation, open innovation, culture change, and R&D management. He also has extensive expertise in marketing, having led many projects around the world focused on marketing strategy, brand building, marketing organization design, and capability building.

Previously based in Shanghai, Erik works with Asia-based companies as well as leading multinational corporations. He serves clients in a range of industries across both Asia and North America—including high tech, telecommunications, consumer goods, and retail.

In 2004, Erik coauthored Seeing What's Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change, which introduced a set of tools for companies to use in setting innovation strategy, pursuing disruptive innovation, and managing complex innovation systems. He is the author of several articles on R&D and innovation, as well as on the unique challenges facing China.

Prior to joining McKinsey in 2000, Erik was part of the team that created OnStar, the in-vehicle security and communication system. He was also Chief Innovation Officer at LG where, among other successfully commercialized digital experiences, he led the effort to design LG's award-winning Smart TV interface.

Published work

Beyond the hype: New opportunities for gen AI in energy and materials,” McKinsey & Company, February 2024

Courageous growth: Six strategies for continuous growth outperformance,” McKinsey & Company, October 2023

Taking fear out of innovation,” McKinsey & Company, March 2023

Choosing to grow: The leader’s blueprint,” McKinsey & Company, July 2022

Committed innovators: How masters of essentials outperform,” McKinsey & Company, June 2022

How virtual work is accelerating innovation,” McKinsey & Company, June 2022

Fear factor: Overcoming human barriers to innovation,” McKinsey & Company, June 2022

The next frontier in consumer goods: Digitally enabled innovation,” McKinsey & Company, April 2022

Innovation—the launchpad out of the crisis,” McKinsey & Company, September 2021

The Committed Innovator: A conversation with Amy Brooks of the NBA,” McKinsey & Company, July 2021

The Committed Innovator: A conversation with Tanya Baker of Goldman Sachs Accelerate,” McKinsey & Company, July 2021

The committed innovator: A conversation with Dometic’s Peter Kjellberg,” McKinsey & Company, June 2021

The committed innovator: A conversation with board director Ireena Vittal,” McKinsey & Company, March 2021

Innovation: Your launchpad out of the COVID-19 crisis,” McKinsey & Company, March 2021

The committed innovator: An interview with Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo,” McKinsey & Company, December 2020

Building an R&D strategy for modern times,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Innovation in a crisis: Why it is more critical than ever,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

Building new businesses: How incumbents use their advantages to accelerate growth,” McKinsey & Company, December 2019

The innovation commitment,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2019

The eight essentials of innovation,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2015

China's innovation engine picks up speed,” McKinsey Quarterly, June 2013

A CEO's guide to innovation in China,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2012

Innovating in China's automotive market: An interview with GM China's president,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2012

Three snapshots of Chinese innovation,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2012

Seeing What's Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change, Harvard Business Press Books, 2004

Past experience

Chief Innovation Officer

Head of marketing and product development

Marketing Corporation of America


Harvard Business School

Middlebury College
BA, international politics, economics