BCG names Rich Lesser new president and CEO
The Boston Consulting Group, one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, is pleased to announce Richard I. Lesser as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1. Elected to the roles in May 2012, Lesser takes the helm as BCG embarks on its fiftieth year of operation. He lives in New York and will also have an office in Beijing.
In describing his vision for the firm, Lesser said that BCG, true to its heritage, will work to shape the future of business and society. “Creating sustainable advantage and lasting impact for our clients lies at the heart of our mission,” he said. “Our global footprint in over 40 countries and broad capabilities to drive insight and fundamental change enable us to help leaders solve the full breadth of their most challenging problems. But our mission goes beyond that. We will continue supporting our local communities and partnering with leading global nonprofits to address some of the world’s most pressing social issues—such as health, education, food security, and sustainability.”
Several factors will drive BCG’s growth, Lesser explained: “Serving many of our clients globally has been critical to our success, and we see great opportunity to deepen those relationships—and forge new ones—across both developed and developing markets. Volatility, uncertainty, and accelerating change are creating challenges but also tremendous opportunities. BCG will grow strongly by building our capabilities and helping leaders navigate turbulent environments everywhere.”
To commemorate its fiftieth anniversary, BCG is launching a year-long initiative to celebrate its leadership in the consulting industry and to renew its pledge to help clients build lasting competitive advantage. The aim of the initiative is to engage leaders on the requirements for success in a world of accelerating change and to recognise those who are “changing the game.”
Lesser succeeds Hans-Paul Bürkner, who will become Chairman after serving nine years as President and CEO. Bürkner presided over a highly successful growth period for the firm, during which BCG nearly tripled its revenues.
“Rich’s passion and proven commitment to our clients and to building BCG’s capabilities will be critical to the firm’s continued growth and its role as a catalyst for change,” said Bürkner, who was based in Frankfurt and New York as CEO.
Lesser has been on the firm’s Executive Committee since 2006 and served as BCG’s Chairman of North and South America since 2009. Before that, was head of the New York office beginning in 2000. His client work has focused on a range of issues in the health care and consumer sectors, including innovation, strategy, and large-scale transformation. In 2009, Consulting magazine named him one of the industry’s most influential consultants.
Prior to joining BCG in 1988, Lesser worked in product development at Procter & Gamble. He earned an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, and a BSE in chemical engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan. A native of Pittsburgh, he is married with three children.
BCG’s partner group, numbering nearly 800, selected Lesser in an election process that concluded last May. He is the firm’s sixth CEO.
BCG was founded in 1963 by the late Bruce Henderson, who led the firm until 1980, when he became Chairman of the Board and was succeeded by Alan Zakon. Zakon was followed by John Clarkeson, who was CEO from 1986 to 1997 and later Chairman, and then by Carl Stern, who was CEO from 1998 to 2003 and later Chairman.