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Rodney W. Zemmel

Senior Partner, New York
Global leader of McKinsey Digital. Works across industries to help shape strategy, improve performance, respond to market disruptions, and drive value creation through the power of data and analytics, digital culture, and modernized core technology

About Rodney

Rodney is the global leader of McKinsey Digital, serving clients across a range of industries on growth strategy, performance improvement, and value creation by harnessing the power of data and analytics, digital culture and capabilities, and modernized core technology. McKinsey Digital now represents more than one-third of the firm’s client work, with more than 5,000 colleagues across 100 offices specialized in digital and analytics.

Previously, he was the managing partner for McKinsey’s Northeast offices, which include the firm’s Boston, New York, and Stamford locations. Prior to that, he led McKinsey’s Healthcare Systems & Services Practice, working with clients in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and healthcare services. He also led the firm’s support for private-equity clients and other companies in consumer-facing industries.

Rodney is a recognized thought leader, writing articles that appear in leading business publications, including Harvard Business Review and Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. He is a coauthor of the book Go Long: Why Long-Term Thinking Is Your Best Short-Term Strategy (Wharton Digital Press, 2018), is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and represents McKinsey at forums such as the National Association of Corporate Directors, CEO Academy, and other roundtables. In addition, Rodney serves on the board of BritishAmerican Business.

Published work and videos

The context for digital transformation,” video, McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Components of digital transformation,” video, McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Questions to guide digital transformation,” video, McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Safety and service in the packaging industry: An interview with the CEO of Sealed Air,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

The digital-led recovery from COVID-19: Five questions for CEOs,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Go Long: Why Long-Term Thinking Is Your Best Short-Term Strategy,” Wharton Digital Press, 2018

How leading CEOs manage their middle tenures,” McKinsey & Company, November 2018

Leading for the long term,” McKinsey & Company, June 2018

How successful CEOs manage their middle act,” Harvard Business Review, May-June 2018

Dennis Carey, Brian Dumaine, Michael Useem, and Rodney Zemmel, “Why CEOs should push back against short-termism,” Harvard Business Review, May 31, 2018

Changing the nature of board engagement,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2015

How the best board directors stay involved,” Harvard Business Review, February 23, 2015

The road to positive R&D returns,” McKinsey & Company, February 2010

Invention reinvented: McKinsey perspectives on pharmaceutical R&D,” McKinsey perspectives on pharmaceutical R&D, 2010

Pharmaceutical R&D: the road to positive returns,” Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, August 1, 2009


Trinity College, University of Cambridge
PhD, molecular biology
BA; MA, natural sciences