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Philipp Hillenbrand

Partner, Berlin
Helps established companies to move beyond their traditional core operations and capabilities, with deep expertise in digital and business building

About Philipp

Philipp is a proven digital entrepreneur with deep expertise in business building. He has built and led successful new ventures and helped established companies evolve beyond traditional core operations and capabilities by adopting start-up practices. An experienced senior leader, Philipp has a demonstrated track record of driving top- and bottom-line growth.

As an entrepreneur, Philipp founded a leading European online-booking platform for camping vacations, leading it as its CEO as it became a digital market leader in less than two years. Before that, he led venture development for a European e-commerce investor, where his accomplishments included helping an international food-delivery start-up prepare itself operationally (including a performance transformation) for an IPO.

Philipp also has deep experience with established companies. Previously, he served as a McKinsey consultant, helping clients by using advanced analytics–driven approaches to strategy, growth, and improving organizational performance. Prior to that, he held roles in business development, sales, and marketing at several multinational financial-services companies in Latin America.

Examples of his recent client experience include the following:

  • architecting, launching, and leading (on an interim basis) a business scale-up factory for a multinational oil and gas company, including the launch of four discrete new ventures
  • designing and launching the technology incubator of an Asian telecommunications leader
  • creating a new B2B2C digital-attacker unit for a major payment service provider, with a focus on digitally enabled growth
  • leading the organizational redesign of a large digital company to ensure further scaling capacity

Published work

SaaS, open source, and serverless: A winning combination to build and scale new businesses,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

How to launch a new business: Three approaches that work,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

Scale or fail: How incumbents can industrialize new-business building,” McKinsey & Company, March 2021

Building a business culture with a single vision at its core,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

What start-ups need to scale and succeed,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

The people-first approach to business building,” McKinsey & Company, February 2020

Achieving M&A success by letting start-up acquisitions be themselves,” McKinsey & Company, February 2020

How traditional companies can overcome legacy obstacles to business building,” McKinsey & Company, December 2019

Traditional company new businesses The pairing that can ensure an incumbents survival,” McKinsey & Company, June 2019

Price to profit Five steps to above-market growth,” McKinsey & Company, September 2014

How B2B companies talk past their customers,” McKinsey & Company, October 2013

Past experience
Founder and CEO

Rocket Internet
Vice president, venture development

Chief marketing and sales officer, Mexico

Allianz Group
Head of brand and communications, Mexico


National Autonomous University of Mexico
PhD, economics and neurosciences

University of Applied Sciences of Münster

Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education
BA, business administration and marketing