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Matthias Schmidt-Pfitzner

Partner, Hamburg
Brings hands-on experience building digital businesses, helping client executives find and scale the right digital value proposition

About Matthias

During more than 20 years leading digital businesses hands on, Matthias has navigated every stage of maturity—from start-ups to complex corporate entities. Through hypergrowth and rapid pivoting, he has implemented scalable business models and processes.

An online industry veteran, Matthias got his start in 1995 bringing people online at a web portal and service provider in Europe. From there, he held executive roles in major online disciplines, such as auction, search, and gaming. Most recently he was a digital media executive for a European telecommunications giant.

This wealth of experience makes Matthias an expert advisor on the nuances of strategy and the rigors of execution. Whether the challenge is B2B or B2C, e-commerce, transactions, or subscriptions, he supports McKinsey’s clients through digital business development and transformation.

In his advisory work, Matthias helps executives find the model that works and build it out. For a customer-service business, he recently defined and scaled up a new value proposition and business model. For another client, he led go-to-market planning and execution to successfully launch an Internet of Things platform. A major German retailer benefited from his advice on how to successfully reorganize and evolve their range of online propositions.

With his long-term industry perspective, Matthias enjoys sharing insights with the broader digital community. He gave the keynote address at the Axel Springer NOAH Conference in 2018 in Berlin and is one of the featured speakers at the 2018 NEXT conference. He was a member of multiple advisory boards in the start-up ecosystem and entertains a broad international network here.


Corporate Digital Innovation – from Shame to Fame,” keynote at the Axel Springer NOAH Conference, June 2018

Published work

The best of ‘frenemies’: Why corporates should embrace, not fear, start-ups—and vice versa,” McKinsey Digital Blog, McKinsey & Company, June 2018

Past experience

Deutsche Telekom
Senior vice president, digital media

King Entertainment

Yahoo! Europe
Vice president, business development

Allegro Poland
Co-managing director

CEO, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland

AOL Europe
Vice president, sales and partner marketing


University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
MA, economics