Rich Lesser is the Global CEO of Boston Consulting Group (BCG). He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Chemical Engineering, where he graduated with the highest honors (summa cum laude). Rich then started his career at Procter & Gamble as a process development engineer and group leader, before returning to school for his MBA. This time it was at Harvard Business School (HBS), where Rich once again achieved exceptional academic results and was named a Baker Scholar – the highest award for academic achievements given by HBS.
Following his MBA, he went on to join BCG as a consultant, where his work was focused on strategy, operations, leadership, and large-scale transformation. Rich’s career has since launched at a rapid pace, making him at partner within 10 years and shortly after that Head of BCG’s New York Metro office, which under Rich grew to firm’s largest office in the country based on revenue and headcount. During Rich’s leadership, BCG became the only global consulting firm to grow strongly through the financial recession in 2008.
Since becoming CEO in 2013, BCG has opened nine new offices and founded a number of new divisions including BCG Digital Ventures.
Rich has two years remaining as CEO, meaning his main focus is to ensure that the company is prepared for the next decade. Therefore, the theme of Rich’s speech is: Winning the 20’s, which is described as a leadership agenda for the next decade. BCG is famously known for consulting and guiding some of the largest and most powerful organizations in the world and now you have the opportunity to get a direct delve into how BCG does it themselves. It is your opportunity to learn from the person who runs the business that helps lead the way for global companies around the world.
His incredible accolades through the years have made Rich one of the most influential consultants over the past 20 years and he encapsulates the theme; Leading Through Change, as he has excelled in managing through uncertainty. At this point, Rich is highly focused on “giving back to the industry” as he puts it because he feels like the industry has given him so much over years and now it is time to pass on this knowledge and experience.