Pioneers innovative initiatives that help clients reinvent their businesses and is the cofounder and global leader of Digital Labs and McKinsey Design

About Hugo

With a background in robotics and software engineering, Hugo is passionate about technology and design. He works with technology providers, private-equity investors, and CIOs and CTOs of established companies to design and deliver groundbreaking new products, businesses, and customer experiences.

As the founder and global leader of Digital Labs and McKinsey Design, Hugo has created cutting-edge capabilities that help McKinsey’s clients capture the benefits of disruptive technologies such as machine learning, mobile, and social.

Hugo has helped major companies translate their technology investments into accelerated growth—for instance, by harnessing customer relationship management, multichannel, collaboration, and analytics. He has also supported the large-scale transformation of IT and service factories by implementing lean techniques to deliver superior customer satisfaction at reduced cost.

A frequent author and thought leader, Hugo regularly speaks at industry forums, including Techonomy and the Fortune Global Forum, on a variety of technology disruptions and their impact on business strategies and operations.

Before joining McKinsey, he was a software engineer in the aerospace and robotics industries. Every year, he facilitates a workshop where clients learn to build robots and drones.

Hugo’s not-for-profit work includes support for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the International Institute of Telecom, and USA Water Polo.


Good design is good business,” McKinsey & Company, October 2015

Hugo Sarrazin at Techonomy 2012: Social is an enterprise feature,” YouTube, November 2012

Published work

The business value of design,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2018

Building a design-driven culture,” McKinsey & Company, September 2015

What every executive needs to know about design,” McKinsey & Company, November 2014

Competing in a digital world: Four lessons from the software industry,” McKinsey & Company, February 2013

The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies,” McKinsey Global Institute, February 2013

How not to unwittingly reveal company secrets,” Harvard Business Review blog, December 2012

How to find new competitive knowledge in social media,” Harvard Business Review blog, December 2012

Social media’s productivity payoff,” Harvard Business Review blog, August 2012

Demystifying social media,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2012


Stanford University
PhD, MSc, smart product design

University of Ottawa
BS, mechanical engineering

Activities & interests

USA Water Polo
Board adviser