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Steve Noble

Senior PartnerMinneapolis

Brings hands-on private-equity experience to identify and unlock new opportunities and build new capabilities across growth, operations, and cost performance, with a focus on driving broad-based performance transformation for retailers

Steve coleads our global work in retail transformation and leads our efforts on retail strategy and transformation in the Americas. He helps retailers define and implement a wide range of growth, cost, and operational improvements and his experience spans a wide range of retail categories and formats.

Examples of recent client work include the following:

  • delivering broad-based transformation programs that have defined new growth strategies, unlocked cost and operating efficiencies to fund this growth, and built new capabilities across commercial and operational functions
  • developing and executing M&A strategies, conducting strategic and financial diligence in support of these transactions, and designing and implementing post-merger integration programs that have delivered more than one billion dollars in synergies
  • defining, prioritizing, and launching new growth programs that tap attractive profit pools through new channels, markets, categories, and business models

Beyond his client work, Steve has published on a range of retail transformation and strategy topics, including how to win within the changing consumer and retail landscape, how to prepare for and win through a downturn, and how retailers should think about mergers and acquisitions. Steve has played a variety of leadership roles within McKinsey Learning and spends several weeks per year leading our core training programs as faculty. He is a board member of Catholic Charities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and an advisory board member to the Consulting Enterprise at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Steve was a private-equity associate in Washington, DC, where he was responsible for executing leveraged buyout transactions and working with management teams to drive business performance.

Published work

Consumers are in fact buying sustainable goods: Highlights from new research,” McKinsey & Company, May 2023

Consumers care about sustainability—and back it up with their wallets,” McKinsey & Company, February 2023

The next normal in retail: Charting a path forward,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

How retailers can ring the register in a recession,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

The Consumer Sector in 2030,” McKinsey & Company, December 2015

How retailers can keep up with consumers,” McKinsey & Company, October 2013 

Past experience

Thayer Capital Partners


Stanford Graduate School of Business

University of Notre Dame