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Michael Barriere

Partner, New York
Draws on years of private-sector experience to build HR, leadership, and workforce capabilities that deliver business outcomes and value

About Michael

Mike is a partner in our People & Organizational Performance Practice. An accomplished human resources and talent executive, he has worked in the private sector for over 25 years. Mike has deep expertise in leadership development, CEO succession planning, talent assessment, as well as capability building and learning services. He regularly advises clients on how to build the HR function of the future, develop talent strategies that enable their business objectives, and improve their leadership and workforce capabilities to create value.

Working closely with our people-analytics team, Mike has contributed to a number of advanced analytics tools and solutions, including tools that match high-potential succession candidates to critical roles, determine future workforce capabilities through supply-and-demand gap analyses, and identify the factors that differentiate top performers from average performers across critical roles.

Examples of Mike’s recent work include the following:

  • supporting a global manufacturing company in building a rigorous, fact-based global talent strategy that is essential to meeting its 2025 growth objectives
  • helping a major healthcare organization design and execute core initiatives to modernize the HR function and upgrade capabilities
  • advising a new chief human-resources officer on engaging the CEO and board to drive talent outcomes, upgrade the HR function, and develop a workforce strategy to build capabilities and grow the leadership bench
  • assisting a financial services firm in developing an employee value proposition that fundamentally altered how the client recruits talent, grows leaders, and manages performance

Prior to joining McKinsey, Mike led Walmart’s global talent-management function with responsibility for the company’s overall talent strategy, including executive development, Walmart’s Leadership Academy, CEO and executive succession planning, officer selection, talent assessment, and capability development for key business strategies. Mike came to Walmart from Alcoa, where he not only oversaw the HR, environment, health, safety, and sustainability functions, but was a member of the company’s executive council.

Earlier in his career, Mike was a system design engineer for Grumman Aerospace and a research scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in its Human Factors and Performance Analysis group. This work and his doctoral research in industrial and organizational psychology focused on human performance, safety culture, and human error reduction in high-risk and technologically complex environments. From 1997 until 2002, Mike also served as an assistant professor of organizational psychology at Hofstra University.

Published work

How to clearly connect your top talent to value,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, March 2019

Linking talent to value,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2018

Past experience

Chief Talent Officer

Chief HR Officer

New York Life Insurance
Senior vice president of HR

Managing Director, global HR and talent management

Grumman Aerospace
System design engineer


Hofstra University
PhD, industrial psychology

Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Hofstra University
BS, engineering science