This is a profile image of Markus Berger-de León

Markus Berger-de León

Senior PartnerBerlin

Supports digital transformations with the insights of a seasoned digital entrepreneur; leads our digital business building operations

Markus is an experienced executive and entrepreneur who helped build and run some of Germany's most successful digital start-ups. With a business background and programming expertise, he bridges C-suite strategy discussions with technology-design debates. He encourages customer- and data-driven digital investments that delight users and foster future growth.

During more than 15 years in executive roles, Markus steered large and small organizations through fast-growth periods and turnaround situations.

Since joining McKinsey in 2015, Markus has helped clients grow and improve new and existing digital businesses. Applying agile methodologies and design-focused thinking, he specializes in fine-tuning the business model and scaling operations rapidly. For example, he recently helped a leading insurance company build agile and design capabilities to digitize their customer experience. Markus understands firsthand what it takes to make an organization agile from a management perspective.

Keenly interested in the future of the digital industry, Markus cofounded the Berlin chapter of H2. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Silicon Valley with chapters globally, H2 connects senior executives, entrepreneurs, and domain experts at start-ups and top firms worldwide. Also passionate about causes that support children, economic empowerment, and education, he offers guidance to the Berlin Metropolitan School and is an advisor to the not-for-profit social-development organization Ashoka.

Select published work

New-business building: A winning strategy in uncertain times,” McKinsey & Company, December 2023

CEOs’ choice for growth: Building new businesses,” McKinsey & Company, November 2023

The direct-to-customer edge: Increasing shareholder value through business building,” McKinsey & Company, August 2023

A bigger, bolder vision: How CROs are propelling growth from the C-suite,” McKinsey & Company, July 2023

A new approach to impact investing from entrepreneur and venture capitalist Fabian Heilemann,” McKinsey & Company, July 2023

Bringing a digital platform to the home heating services market: Lessons from thermondo,” McKinsey & Company, June 2023

Transforming cutting-edge science into a business: Lessons from C1,” McKinsey & Company, May 2023

The executive’s guide to new-business building,” McKinsey & Company, February 2023

Buy and scale: How incumbents can use M&A to grow new businesses,” McKinsey & Company, December 2022

How start-ups can manage uncertain times: Insights from leading European venture capitalists,” McKinsey & Company, December 2022

New-business building in 2022: Driving growth in volatile times,” McKinsey & Company, November 2022

How to build a unicorn: Lessons from venture capitalists and start-ups,” McKinsey & Company, October 2022

How good are you at business building? A new way to score your ability to scale new ventures,” McKinsey & Company, November 2021

Entrepreneurship zeitgeist 2030,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

Building new businesses: How incumbents use their advantages to accelerate growth,” McKinsey & Company, December 2019

How industrial incumbents can create new businesses,” McKinsey & Company, November 2019

Transforming life insurance with design thinking,” McKinsey & Company, May 2016

Past experience

Note: This section lists roles held 1 year or more and is not intended to be a comprehensive list; usually only the most senior title held is listed

MyHammer, CEO

VZ Networks (StudiVZ), CEO

Jamba/Jamster, COO and CEO


Columbia University Business School
Exchange program

WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
German “Diplom Kaufmann” degree

Activities & Interests

Cofounder, H2, Berlin chapter

Advisory board, Berlin Metropolitan School