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Dr. Karolina Sauer-Sidor


Advises telecommunications and technology companies on strategy, growth, go-to-market, digital, and transformation to help them respond to changing customer needs and market conditions in their key transition moments

Karolina is a partner in McKinsey’s Madrid office and is one of the leaders in the Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Practice. She works together with executives as they are looking to find sources and avenues of growth, boost performance, address changing market conditions and customer needs, or digitize and adapt their operating models. She has led several transformations for technology and telecommunications organizations covering major areas of the business.

Karolina leads the firm’s B2B digital and analytics work across sectors and the firm’s service for B2B telecom, advising the enterprise units of telecommunications companies on their growth strategies. She has also been leading McKinsey’s COVID-19 response for operators. She often works closely with CFOs to enhance performance management and ensure delivery to the bottom-line.

Karolina spent five years in Asia and has been based in Europe since 2012. Examples of her recent work include the following:

  • B2B strategy and growth plan for a European telecom operator across multiple countries
  • designing and executing a growth and transformation plan for a leading operator covering all major areas of the business including consumer, enterprise, network, and supporting functions
  • setting up a digital operator in Europe
  • leading the IoT B2B strategy and plan for a telco company
  • leading the post-merger integration for a major B2B company in the TMT sector
  • leading the 3-5 year business plan for a major TMT company

Before joining McKinsey, Karolina worked for a strategy consultancy in Germany and China. She was also a business manager at the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. Karolina holds a PhD from the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen as well as MBA and MA degrees.

Published work

How to prepare for the CFO role,” McKinsey & Company, April 2024

Seizing the core connectivity opportunity in B2B telecom,” McKinsey & Company, March 2024

Technology and telecommunications B2B customer buying trends: Bright horizons with some warning signs,” McKinsey & Company, February 2024

What separates B2B GTM outperformers in tech and telecom,” McKinsey & Company, October 2023

The multiplier effect: How B2B winners grow,” McKinsey & Company, April 2023

The Mobile World Congress insights shaping our conversations with tech and telco leaders,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, March 2022

Strategic resilience during the COVID-19 crisis,” McKinsey & Company, March 2021

A battle plan for telcos’ digital-attacker brands,” McKinsey & Company, March 2021

The telecom sector in 2020 and beyond,” McKinsey & Company, October 2020

Predictive sales forecasting: Is your finance function up to code?,” McKinsey & Company, August 2020

Past experience

Roland Berger
Project manager

European Union Chamber of Commerce, China
Business manager


Eberhard Karls University
PhD, Chinese-Japanese relations in consumer perception and consumer behavior

Rutgers Global, Beijing

Humboldt University