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Hortense de la Boutetière

Senior Partner, Paris
Leads performance transformations in the energy, industry, and healthcare sectors; guides culture change; and advises executives across industries as they make crucial leadership transitions

About Hortense

Working across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, Hortense is passionate about helping executives and the companies they lead reach their full potential. Since joining McKinsey, she has led both broad-based performance transformations as well as more focused culture-change efforts.

Against a backdrop of ongoing disruption and changing dynamics, Hortense helps clients in the energy, industry, and healthcare sectors pursue fundamental performance transformation. This work includes diagnosing challenges, designing transformation initiatives, and guiding full implementation in pursuit of stronger and more sustainable operational and financial performance.

As the leader of McKinsey's culture and change work within the Organization Practice in Europe, Hortense also supports culture change and executive transitions across all sectors. She coaches top teams on increasing their effectiveness by aligning around a shared strategic vision and improving the quality of their working dynamic. As part of this coaching, Hortense frequently supports executives transitioning to new positions. She leads executive-transition master classes, which have reached 100 executives taking on new roles, many in new sectors and geographies.

Examples of her recent client work include the following: 

  • leading a multiyear performance transformation for a major European utility, following a rapid holistic performance diagnostic, which included pursuing transformation initiatives while establishing a program management office to sustain improvements over time
  • coordinating a multiteam performance transformation for a global pharmaceutical company, leading to the identification, design, and launch of innovative initiatives to improve effectiveness and efficiency at each step of the value chain
  • supporting a top European university hospital through a comprehensive turnaround to reach financial sustainability while improving patient care, resulting in a decrease in waiting time in the emergency room and the reorganization of five medical departments
  • supporting a multiyear effort to create a new operating company in the Middle East, with a focus on change management
  • helping a top executive team in oil and gas in Africa align on its strategic agenda and improve trust among team members
  • guiding a performance transformation for a global pharmaceutical company, including a lean transformation of the research and development department that resulted in greater innovation

Currently based in Paris, Hortense previously worked in our Singapore office. A French national, she was an officer cadet during her military service in France and directed 80 military volunteers in the Army Health Service. Hortense is fluent in French and English and conversant in German.


Transforming safety culture: Insights from the trenches at a leading oil and gas company,” McKinsey & Company, July 2019

Overcoming limiting mind-sets to improve safety,” McKinsey & Company, May 2019

Linking employee engagement to customer satisfaction at Starwood,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, April 2019

Celebrate mindsets that value the customer AND the employee,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, February 2019

Master these mindsets to enchant customers,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, January 2019

New leaders: Tap your team ASAP,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, October 2018

It really isn’t about 100 days,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, November 2017

Ascending to the C-Suite,” McKinsey & Company, April 2015

Past experience

BNP Paribas



École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées
MSc, economics and civil engineering

École Polytechnique
MS, biology