Bob Sternfels is the thirteenth global managing partner to lead McKinsey & Company since its founding in 1926. With nearly three decades worth of experience with the consulting powerhouse, Sternfels is also a member of the McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility advisory council, a sponsor of McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace research, and he chairs the elected board of directors, which is known as the Shareholders Council.
A native Californian, Sternfels studied history and economics at Stanford University, where he was a member of the NCAA Division I varsity water polo team. He went on to study at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. After completing his education, he returned home and joined McKinsey's San Francisco office in 1994.
Since then, Sternfels has served the company in a wide range of capacities. Previously he spent six years with McKinsey in Johannesburg; and he has worked with colleagues in nearly all of the company's office locations around the world.
Sternfels, who is viewed as an operations expert who leverages technology to solve classic business problems such as digitizing factories, previously led McKinsey’s operations practice in the Americas and its private-equity and principal investors practice globally. At the time of his election to managing partner in March 2021, he led the firm's advanced analytics practice. Over the years, the executive has overseen a significant expansion of McKinsey’s capabilities in several key areas, such as implementation, transformation, and sustainability. He was also leading figure behind the launch of McKinsey’s Sustainability Practice in April of 2021.
On top of that, Sternfels has also had a tremendous influence on McKinsey's digital and advanced analytics practice –growing it from a small, burgeoning business into a sizable part of the company's current revenues.
Away from the office, Sternfels maintains a busy schedule. In a personal capacity, he serves on the board of QuestBridge, the advisory board of USA Water Polo, and as a trustee of the Rhodes Trust. He is active in major commercial interests and initiatives related to the improvement of business and society. He is a member of the Business Roundtable, the Asia Business Council, the Fortune CEO Initiative, the New York Jobs CEO Council, and Focus Capital on the Long Term. Previously, Sternfels has spoken at events hosted by the World Economic Forum, Bloomberg, and several other leading organizations.