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Thomas Meakin

Partner, London

Serves consumer-facing technology and media companies on challenging strategic and commercial issues; coleads the Technology, Media & Telecommunications Practice in Europe and is a leader of QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey

Thomas

Tom is a partner based in London. He coleads McKinsey’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications Practice in Europe and serves clients on various strategic and commercial issues, including growth strategy, digital marketing, and customer life-cycle management.

This specialisation is underpinned by extensive operational experience. Between 2015 and 2017, Tom launched a direct-to-consumer TV business and grew it to more than one million customers as COO. Examples of Tom’s recent client work include the following:

  • driving radical improvements in churn at a western European telecommunications company through advanced analytics, personalised marketing campaigns, and predictive “next-best-action” modelling
  • building a new direct-to-consumer over-the-top business in Europe and Asia with aggressive digital-marketing interventions, a new customer life-cycle management capability, and overhaul of the company’s digital product
  • developing the corporate strategy for a global TV company, including establishing a direct-to-consumer “attacker” brand, defining monetization approaches by market, and building capabilities in product, analytics, and marketing
  • redefining the growth strategy at a European connected-home company by conducting detailed market and customer research, revising the product portfolio, and translating the new strategy into a business plan and portfolio of strategic initiatives

Besides his client service, Tom leads various knowledge efforts for the firm. He writes extensively on CEO transitions and speaks at high-profile external conferences, including Web Summit and MWC Barcelona (Mobile World Congress). He was previously COO at QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, which is an artificial intelligence group the firm acquired in 2015. In this role, he was responsible for growing QuantumBlack around the world to keep pace with client demands, defining its strategy with McKinsey, and sustaining its performance and health as the company scaled.

Outside McKinsey, Tom serves on the board of the development trust at Magdalen College, Oxford, and was a founding governor at an academy—a high school for 11-to-16-year-olds—in south London. He is a keen runner who has completed the Marathon des Sables, a 250-kilometre ultramarathon in the Sahara.

Published Work

Winning with AI is a state of mind,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

Short-term pain for long-term gain: The new CEO’s dilemma,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2019

Closing the gender gap: A missed opportunity for new CEOs,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2018

What makes a CEO ‘exceptional’?,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2017

How functional leaders become CEOs,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2017

A deal-making strategy for new CEOs,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2017

How new CEOs can boost their odds of success,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2016

Past Experience

freenet TV
COO

United States Senate
Legislative assistant

Education

Magdalen College, Oxford
BA, history