Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has appointed Richard Lesser (49) as global chief executive from January 2013. Lesser, who is currently BCG chairman of North and South America, will succeed Hans-Paul Burkner (59). Lesser was the preferred candidate of the more than 700 partners that were able to vote.
Democratic selection process
BCG’s CEO selection process is, unlike the process at the firm's main competitors, very democratic. Each BCG partner, regardless of seniority, has one vote in the CEO election, as well as in other major management decisions. According to the consulting firm it is a reflection of BCG's collaborative and nonhierarchical culture.
Burkner, who is based in Frankfurt, has been president of BCG for the past nine years. When he took the reins in 2004, he became BCG's first non-U.S.-born CEO. Under Bürkner's leadership, the strategy consulting firm has nearly tripled its revenues to $3.55 billion and nearly doubled its staff to 8,400. It has opened 17 new offices worldwide and established itself as a full-service management consultancy with global reach.
"BCG has been steadily gaining share on its competitors and is well-positioned to continue its growth trajectory. I have absolutely no doubt that with his inspiring leadership, Richard will bring many new ideas and take BCG to the next level," Bürkner said in a statement.
Before being named regional chairman for the Americas in 2009, he had served as head of the New York Metro office system since 2000 and on the firm's Executive Committee since 2006. 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 and a BSE in chemical engineering summa cum laude from the University of Michigan. He is married and has three children.