Skip to main content
Back to

Nick Santhanam

Senior Partner, Americas Practice Leader, Silicon Valley
Specializes in helping high-tech, semiconductor, industrial, and private-equity clients tackle operational and strategic challenges

About Nick

Nick leads our Advanced Electronics and Semiconductors Practice in the Americas. He is also a leader in our Operations and High Tech Practices. Based in Silicon Valley, he advises semiconductor, industrial, high-tech, media, and private-equity clients on a range of topics, including operational improvement, cost optimization, and strategy.

Some of Nick’s recent projects have involved the following: 

  • advising a large wireless chip-set player on its market-entry and product-alignment strategy 
  • working with a leading high-tech company on next-generation content, network, and chip-set alignment
  • conducting due diligence on revenue “bankability” and operational-improvement potential for software, Internet-enabled-services, and semiconductor companies
  • supporting semiconductor and high-tech companies in forming joint ventures and pursuing alliances
  • advising tier-one semiconductor and electronic-component companies on value pricing and transactional-pricing improvements
  • helping electronic-component companies roll out lean techniques across multiple sites in Japan and the United States

Prior to joining McKinsey, Nick worked as a technical manager at Taconic, a manufacturer of composite materials, and as a manufacturing engineer at Delaware-based manufacturer Arlon. He holds master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois and in strategic management and finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he was a Ford fellow and a Palmer scholar.


The future of packaging,” McKinsey & Company, October 2019

Published work

The case for an end-to-end automotive-software platform,” McKinsey & Company, January 2020

Eliminating roadblocks to Accelerated Performance Transformation,” McKinsey & Company, October 2019

A new approach to Accelerated Performance Transformation,” McKinsey & Company, October 2019

Flow control: Sector at a crossroads?,” McKinsey & Company, July 2019

Packaging solutions: Poised to take off?,” McKinsey & Company, July 2019

The coming shakeout in industrial distribution,” McKinsey & Company, May 2019

Industrial robotics: Opportunities for manufacturers of end effectors,” McKinsey & Company, February 2019

Blockchain 2.0: What’s in store for the two ends—semiconductors (suppliers) and industrials (consumers)?,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

Accelerating profitability for medium-size industrial companies,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

Artificial-intelligence hardware: New opportunities for semiconductor companies,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

Right product, right time, right location: Quantifying the semiconductor supply chain,” McKinsey & Company, December 2018

Laying the foundation for success in the connected-building era,” McKinsey & Company, October 2018

Creating value at industrial companies through advanced pricing techniques,” McKinsey & Company, August 2018

The US cutting-tools market: What changes lie ahead?,” McKinsey & Company, July 2018

What’s ahead for food processing and handling?,” McKinsey & Company, May 2018

Graphene: The next S-curve for semiconductors?,” McKinsey & Company, April 2018

Artificial intelligence: The time to act is now,” McKinsey & Company, January 2018

What’s ahead for industrials?,” McKinsey & Company, March 2017

Executive perspective: Vincent Roche, CEO of Analog Devices, on the next wave in semiconductors,” McKinsey & Company, September 2014

Trend spotting: Qualcomm executives consider the next wave of growth in semiconductors,” McKinsey & Company, September 2014

Exploring SynBio's potential for semiconductor players,” McKinsey on Semiconductors, Autumn 2013 (PDF–501 KB)

The hunt for revenue: A case for further granularity,” McKinsey on Semiconductors, Autumn 2013 (PDF–501 KB)

The potential shake-up in semiconductor manufacturing business models,” McKinsey on Semiconductors, Autumn 2013 (PDF–455 KB)

Finding the next $100 billion in semiconductor revenues,” McKinsey on Semiconductors, Autumn 2012 (PDF–455 KB)

What will enable alpha growth?McKinsey on Semiconductors, Autumn 2012 (PDF–378 KB)

“The challenge of China,” McKinsey on Semiconductors, Autumn 2011

A better way to measure shop floor costs,” McKinsey Quarterly, August 2010

Past experience

Technical manager

Manufacturing engineer


The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
MBA in strategic management and finance; Ford Fellow and Palmer Scholar

University of Illinois
MS in chemical engineering