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John Levene

PartnerNew Jersey

Helps lead McKinsey’s start-up work, focusing on businesses that involve complex infrastructure and assets, especially chemicals, agriculture, engineering, and construction

John works with start-ups, scale-ups and investors to turn aspirations and vision into operational reality. He coleads the North American team at Fuel by McKinsey, a group dedicated to helping start-ups, investors, and corporate innovators in leading the next wave of disruptive innovation. Additionally, he leads the global team focused on supporting start-ups and investors in chemicals, agriculture, and food. Serving organizations across industries and sectors, John brings to his work deep expertise in asset- and infrastructure-intense start-ups and other high-growth companies.

Earlier in his work at McKinsey, John worked extensively with large capital projects, especially around strategy for capital expenditure and contracting. He has extensive experience with capital-program acceleration and transformations in numerous industries—chemicals, agriculture, engineering and construction, utilities and infrastructure, and global energy and materials—in both the public and private sectors.

Examples of his recent client work include the following:

  • serving as interim CEO leading the transformation and scale-up of an engineering and construction software as a service (SaaS) start-up
  • supporting the development and launch of a commercial real-estate property-technology transaction platform to enable hypergrowth
  • leading the transformation of global operations for $30 billion chemicals and agriculture enterprise delivering $3 billion in EBITDA impact
  • helping turn around a large, distressed pharmaceutical project, driving $200 million in impact on a $2 billion program
  • enabling commercialization scale-up of alternative protein leader across commercial, operations, infrastructure and financing strategy transitioning from lab to full commercial production

Prior to joining McKinsey, John worked for an engineering and construction group, serving as global lead for construction commercial and market strategy.


Seizing opportunities amid the agtech capital drought,” McKinsey & Company, March 2024

How agtech start-ups can survive a capital drought,” McKinsey & Company, November 2022

How to make investments in start-ups pay off,” McKinsey & Company, November 2022


Program manager

Project engineer


Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
BS, MEng, civil engineering