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Simon Blackburn

Senior PartnerSydney

Helps public and private-sector clients harness new technologies and new ways of working to achieve lasting improvements in their performance

Simon is a senior partner in McKinsey’s Sydney office. For more than two decades, he has advised clients on a wide range of topics including strategy, growth, digital transformation, data and analytics, modern organization and operating models, operations, and IT.

He serves companies across multiple sectors with a current emphasis on services businesses—including banking, insurance, telecommunications, and government—and has a passion for helping organizations achieve step changes in performance at the intersection of organizational change and technology-enabled disruption. He leads the McKinsey Digital and McKinsey Analytics Practices in Australia and New Zealand, as well as McKinsey's digital strategy work globally, actively contributing to our knowledge on how to harness new technologies and new ways of working to drive performance. This includes work spanning areas such as digital strategy, digital business building, digitization of core processes, advanced analytics, and reinventing customer journeys and experience, in each case helping clients adopt new ways of working such as agile to speed delivery. He previously led McKinsey's transformational change work across Asia for many years, and deeply understands the importance of behavioral change and organizational health in unlocking lasting performance improvement.

Simon holds a PhD in engineering from University of Cambridge and degrees in engineering and mathematics from University of Sydney. He worked in McKinsey’s Boston office for 11 years before returning to his native Australia in 2008, and also serves on the boards of Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and The Hunger Project Australia. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring new experiences with his wife and two children.

Published work

Strategy for a digital world,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

Digital strategy in a time of crisis,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Digital Australia: Seizing opportunity from the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” McKinsey & Company, May 2017

How do I transform my organization's performance?” (PDF-851 KB), McKinsey & Company, June 2011

How do I implement complex change at scale?” (PDF-884 KB), McKinsey & Company, May 2011

Past experience

Research engineer


University of Cambridge
PhD in engineering

University of Sydney
BEng in electrical engineering; BSc in mathematics