About Kara

Kara is a senior member of McKinsey’s High Tech Practice and Digital McKinsey, where she helps lead McKinsey’s global work in cloud technologies and software as a service.

Kara primarily focuses on supporting software product and service providers, particularly companies in the cloud computing, big data, mobility, collaboration, and cybersecurity subsectors. She also brings substantial experience in corporate and business-unit strategy.

Her recent work includes:

  • leading the diligence and integration planning for a large merger
  • supporting the board of a large, integrated technology company on a sell-side transaction
  • executing a complete pricing transformation for an enterprise software provider across strategic and transactional pricing
  • defining the growth strategy for a new public-sector-focused software-as-a-service offering
  • developing the cloud strategy and business case for a leading aerospace and defense contractor

Kara is an active contributor to McKinsey’s research, including the Grow fast or die slow series, which examines the keys to value creation and growth for software companies.

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology–trained computer scientist and electrical engineer, Kara is committed to advancing the role of women in technology and serves on the board of Girls Who Code.


Waking from the dream: The realities today’s world needs to face, Collision Conference, April 2016

Beyond scale-up: Growing software companies into billion dollar giants, Techonomy, November 2013

Invest in technology for innovation,” Cloud Connect, April 2013

Selected published work

Grow fast or die slow: Why unicorns are staying private,” McKinsey & Company, May 2016

Recruiting and retaining more women in technology organizations, ” McKinsey & Company, November 2015

Grow fast or die slow: The double-edged sword of M&A,” McKinsey & Company, October 2015

Wanted: More women in technology,” McKinsey & Company, October 2015

Reborn in the cloud,” McKinsey & Company, July 2015

Grow fast or die slow: Pivoting beyond the core,” McKinsey & Company, April 2015

Offline and falling behind: Barriers to Internet adoption,” McKinsey & Company, September 2014

Grow fast or die slow,” McKinsey & Company, April 2014

Next-generation IT infrastructure,” McKinsey & Company, April 2014

The enterprise IT infrastructure agenda for 2014,” McKinsey & Company, January 2014

Protecting information in the cloud,” McKinsey & Company, January 2013

Where the cloud is likely to grow,” McKinsey & Company, March 2012 (PDF–597 KB)

Past experience

Member of technical staff

Software engineer

Agilent Technologies
Firmware engineer


Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MSc, technology and public policy; MEng, electrical engineering and computer science; BS, electrical engineering and computer science