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Dr. Tim Fountaine

Senior PartnerSydney

Leads our firm’s digital delivery teams—QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, and Build by McKinsey—across Australia and New Zealand

Tim helps private and public organizations adapt to a world increasingly shaped by digital technology.

Tim’s expertise in digital, data, and AI comes from more than 15 years working with institutions in Australia, Asia, America, and Europe, in addition to the experience gained through his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Oxford.

Tim’s work spans industries as diverse as financial services, retail, mining, technology, defence, and healthcare. Some examples of his recent work include the following:

  • working with a multinational retailer to define its strategy and implement a digital and technology program to transform the company’s omnichannel capabilities
  • helping a global bank with its customer personalization, customer lifetime value, and data programs, to improve satisfaction and retention
  • supporting a three-year effort for a national health system, to analyze claims data to inform hundreds of recommendations to improve healthcare access, quality, and affordability
  • running a five-year trial of different models of funding and digitalization of healthcare for people with chronic conditions for a national government
  • designing and building an advanced analytics center of excellence for a multinational retail company
  • building an AI sailor with reinforcement learning to help Emirates Team New Zealand defend the oldest trophy in international sport, the America’s Cup

Tim also works in a pro bono capacity with a range of not-for-profit organizations.

Tim’s perspectives have been published multiple times in Harvard Business Review, and his article “Building the AI-Powered Organization” featured in the magazine’s special edition, 10 Must Reads on Leading Digital Transformation.

When not coaching executives or guiding digital programs, Tim can be found on the tennis court, running around Sydney's beaches, or in the park with his young family.

Published work

A better way to put your data to work,” Harvard Business Review, July-August 2022

How to unlock the full value of data? Manage it like a product,” McKinsey & Company, June 2022

Getting AI to scale,” Harvard Business Review, May-June 2021

Four steps in unlocking the value of data in Australian industrial organizations,” McKinsey & Company, May 2021

Reimagining your business for AI,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

Getting to scale with artificial intelligence,” McKinsey & Company, November 2019

Building the AI-powered organization,” Harvard Business Review, July-August 2019

What it really takes to scale artificial intelligence,” McKinsey & Company, June 2019


Queen’s College, University of Oxford
PhD, neuroscience (Commonwealth Scholar)

University of Auckland
BS, human biology