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Kate Smaje

Senior Partner, London
As the global leader of McKinsey Digital, serves consumer-facing companies on digitally enabled strategy, marketing, operational, and organizational initiatives that will enable the transformation of their businesses

About Kate

Kate is the global leader of McKinsey Digital, working with clients to deploy the power of data, digital culture and capabilities, and modernized core technology. She previously led the firm’s consumer digital work in Europe, helping leading retailers and consumer-facing companies capture opportunities afforded by new growth platforms, rethink consumer-engagement models, and improve organizational performance.

Kate has led initiatives to help clients develop omnichannel operating models, discover new growth opportunities, and adapt their organizations (for example, by helping develop the cultural and technical capabilities necessary to thrive in the digital world). A focus of her work is on designing, delivering, and often turbocharging digital transformations—a critical imperative as industry dynamics evolve.

Examples of Kate’s recent client work include the following:

  • leading a Pan-European leisure retailer’s multiyear digital transformation, which entailed strategy development, organizational redesign, and cultural realignment
  • supporting the end-to-end transformation of a major multicategory retailer
  • setting up a new digital unit and building the associated team and capabilities for a European cruise company
  • defining the digital strategy for a German pure-play retailer to achieve step-change performance
  • helping a major European online retailer reset its value equation, including redefining its pricing and promotion strategies
  • helping a major retailer develop a new multichannel operating model by articulating the customer-value proposition and creating new fulfillment and service models, among other efforts
  • leading the turnaround of a global jewelry company to restore growth
  • coaching senior leaders of several top retail and leisure companies to help them develop the mind-sets, capabilities, and grassroots digital understanding required to lead digital transformations

In addition to Kate’s work with McKinsey, she is a trustee of Tommy’s, the children’s charity.


The secrets to going digital,” McKinsey & Company, September 2015

McKinsey Minute: The mobile shopper’s new decision journey,” McKinsey on Marketing and Sales, September 2015

Published Work

Q&A with Kate Smaje,” (PDF–1.9 MB) McKinsey & Company, June 2017

The state of fashion,” McKinsey & Company, December 2016

What's your digital quotient?,” HBR Ideacast, September 2015

‘Transformer in chief’: The new chief digital officer,“ McKinsey & Company, September 2015

Five habits for executives to become more digital,” McKinsey & Company, November 2014

The seven traits of effective digital enterprises,” McKinsey & Company, May 2014

Past Experience

JPMorgan Chase


University of Durham
BA, history