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Kate Smaje

Senior PartnerLondon

Serves consumer-facing companies on digitally enabled strategy, marketing, operational, and organizational initiatives that will enable the transformation of their businesses

Kate works with clients to deploy the power of data, digital culture and capabilities, and modernized core technology. She has been a core leader of our consumer work for many years, helping leading retailers and consumer-facing companies capture opportunities afforded by new growth platforms, rethink consumer-engagement models, and improve organizational performance.

In her work with clients, Kate helps companies understand the full extent of technology disruption on business strategy and leads digital, data, and design transformations as industry dynamics evolve. Throughout, she works with senior leadership teams to help them build the mind-sets, capabilities, and grassroots understanding required to undergo such change successfully and sustainably.

She also has firsthand experience as a chief technology officer across core technology, digital product management and innovation, and cybersecurity work.

She is a co-author of Rewired: The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Kate worked in the investment-banking division of a multinational investment bank and financial-services holding company in London, advising on mergers, acquisitions, and debt restructuring in the technology sector.

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

Video and Webinars

The digital-value guardian: CEOs and digital transformations,” McKinsey & Company, December 2021

McKinsey Live: Accelerating digital capabilities to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

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

Published Work

Choose the right transformation ‘bite size’,” McKinsey & Company, March 2024

MLOps so AI can scale,” McKinsey & Company, March 2024

Ten unsung digital and AI ideas shaping business,” McKinsey & Company, January 2024

What really works when it comes to digital and AI transformations?,” McKinsey & Company, July 2023

Rewired to outcompete,” McKinsey Quarterly, June 2023

The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier,” McKinsey & Company, June 2023

Digital resilience: Consumer survey finds ample scope for growth,” McKinsey & Company, October 2022

Why digital trust truly matters,” McKinsey & Company, September 2022

Digital transformation on the CEO agenda,” McKinsey & Company, May 2022

Cloud’s trillion-dollar prize is up for grabs,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2021

Think fast: How to accelerate e-commerce growth,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

How companies can win in the seven tech-talent battlegrounds,” McKinsey & Company, October 2020

Driving digital change during a crisis: The chief digital officer and COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

The digital-led recovery from COVID-19: Five questions for CEOs,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

How CFOs should drive digital transformation,” McKinsey & Company, February 2020

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

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