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Kyle Hawke

Partner, Washington DC
Helps clients drive sustainable productivity improvements and align resources with strategy through the implementation of zero-based productivity

About Kyle

As a part of McKinsey’s global Operations Practice, Kyle coleads our work helping companies implement zero-based productivity.

As a strategic advisor, Kyle has worked with and counseled senior executives across industries to better understand their cost base, sustainably reduce operating expenses, and realign resources to enable their strategy. He has deep experience building cultures of cost management, optimizing indirect spend, improving supply-chain design, and boosting the performance of planning functions through digital solutions.

In recent years, Kyle has focused on the substantial benefits of the zero-based productivity approach, which offers company leaders a powerful approach to reducing costs and establishing a lasting culture of successful cost management. He has particular experience partnering with large and small clients across industries—including consumer goods, telecommunications, and logistics companies—where zero-based productivity is particularly well suited to the complexity of the sector. Kyle also frequently partners with private-equity firms to drive the benefits of zero-based productivity throughout their portfolio of holdings.

All in all, he has led more than a dozen of the world’s largest zero-based productivity implementation efforts across industries and four continents and, in doing so, has advised more than 100 McKinsey clients and teams through program design, implementation, capability building, and target setting.

Examples of his recent client work include the following:

  • leading a zero-based productivity implementation for a global consumer-goods company purchased by a leading private-equity firm
  • designing a zero-based productivity approach for a global brand and then coaching company personnel through an internally driven implementation
  • directing a company-wide zero-based productivity and comprehensive cost-management program for a leading healthcare-technology provider
  • designing a custom zero-based productivity approach and implementation for a global brewer
  • helping a logistics provider implement a repeatable zero-based productivity approach to drive productivity and align resources with their strategy
  • completing zero-based productivity diagnostics for a variety of companies across industries

Interested in fostering discussion and raising awareness, Kyle frequently publishes articles to share insights on budgeting and the economics of support functions.

Published work

The SG&A imperative in times of crisis,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

Zero-based budgeting—The dos and don’ts of lasting change,” McKinsey & Company, April 2018

How absolute zero (-based budgeting) can heat up growth,” McKinsey & Company, January 2018

Five new truths about zero-based budgeting,” McKinsey & Company, August 2017

The truth about zero-based budgeting: ZBB for consumer-goods players,” McKinsey & Company, April 2017

Who should pay for support functions?” McKinsey & Company, January 2017

The return of zero-based budgeting,” McKinsey & Company, August 2015

Five myths (and realities) about zero-based budgeting,” McKinsey & Company, October 2014


University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business

James Madison University College of Business
BBA, computer information systems, operations management