In an unexpected move, BCG just announced a transition at CEO. Christoph Schweizer will take over the top job at BCG when current CEO Rich Lesser steps down in Fall 2021. Lesser plans to remain at BCG as global chair. Schweizer is a German native and long-time member of the firm. The 48-year-old will become BCG’s seventh CEO in the firm’s 58-year history. Will this CEO transition change anything in BCG’s overall strategy and vision? Let’s discuss.
BCG Names New CEO Christoph Schweizer
Before moving on to Schweizer’s profile, let’s touch on the impact that Rich Lesser had at BCG. During his three terms as CEO, the firm grew rapidly. It expanded from 42 to 51 countries, doubled its workforce to 22,000, and tripled annual revenue. BCG’s digital capabilities experienced particularly accelerated growth. The firm’s digital, technology, and analytics work now represents 40% of BCG’s revenue, up from only 10% of the total revenue pie a decade ago.
It’s clear that Christoph Schweizer has big shoes to fill, but he certainly has the chops to support his promotion. Shortly after getting his MBA at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, he joined BCG. He has spent 23 years with the firm, serving as Head of Global Practice Areas from 2014-2017. Previously, he was Global Head of the firm’s Healthcare Practice from 2011-2014. In addition, Schweizer has been a member of the firm’s executive and operating committees since 2014.
This operational experience, as well as his experience building out BCG’s Healthcare Practice and refining offerings across global practice areas (i.e., overseeing the growth of digital-focused services offered by the firm), positions him to lead the Boston Consulting Group into the future.
What Does this Mean for BCG?
At a high-level, we don’t expect much to change at BCG. The firm will continue to provide best-in-class consulting services for the most influential companies in the world and lead the charge in the digital transformation revolution. It can be noted that Schweizer specifically mentioned addressing climate change in a public statement after the big announcement. While not a new revelation, look for BCG to allocate resources towards sustainability in the next decade or two.
BCG is not the first leading strategy consulting firm to opt for a change in leadership this year. In March, McKinsey voted to replace then-CEO Kevin Sneader after discontent with decisions he made in response to several crises.
Despite the change in CEO, we anticipate BCG will maintain its current focus and continue to tackle the top issues leaders are facing today. Also, don’t be surprised by new office openings. The announcement of Christoph Schweizer as Chief Executive is notable for BCG, but the firm appears to be in good hands moving forward.
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