Simon-Kucher's UK boss Mark Billige to co-lead consultancy globally

12 July 2019 3 min. read
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Following more than a decade leading Simon-Kucher & Partners, Chief Executive Officer Georg Tacke will pass on the baton to a new generation of leaders at the turn of the year. Following a vote of confidence from more than 100 Partners, Andreas von der Gathen will take on the role alongside English firm veteran Mark Billige.

Simon-Kucher & Partners is on a rapid growth track on multiple fronts. In 2017, the firm broke its 1,000 employee barrier, while a year later the firm reached another major milestone, hitting a turnover of more than €250 million. Since that announcement, the management consultancy revealed that its meteoric rise was a long way from being complete, however. Now, as the firm looks to continue its storied expansion, it will do so under new leadership.

George Tacke commenced on his spell as CEO of Simon-Kucher & Partners in 2009, at a time when the consulting firm generated revenues of less than €100 million. Following an exceedingly successful decade at the helm, Tacke looks set to step down in January 2020 with the firm having surpassed €350 million in annual revenue. With the Bonn-headquartered consulting firm seemingly in excellent health following Tacke’s tenure then, it appears to be in fine shape to survive and thrive under his successors.

Simon-Kucher's UK boss Mark Billige to co-lead consultancy globally

For three consecutive years, digitisation has been the firm’s star performing service line, something which Tacke expects to continue. He recently told, “Many companies have invested enormous amounts in digitalisation over the past few years. But they are seeing low impact. Companies turn to us for our support and expertise in developing profitable digitalisation projects.”

In a left-field move, Simon-Kucher has decided to install co-CEOs to take up the reins. As of the New Year, German-born Andreas von der Gathen and Englishman Mark Billige will formally take office, having been given a vote of confidence from the firm’s 114 Partners as the most suitable duo to fill Tacke’s shoes.

With fifteen years of experience in the field of pricing and financial management, Billige specialises in the development of pricing and monetisation strategies with a particular focus on revenue model design, portfolio and packaging optimisation, customer segmentation, loyalty management and promotional effectiveness. He has been at Simon-Kucher since 2006, and advises clients in B2B and B2C services industries, including telecom, internet, media, software and professional services businesses.

Billige currently heads the London office and manages the consultancy’s UK business. He advises clients from the internet, tech, media, and software industries and leads business with many of the company’s private equity clients. Earlier in his career, he served with PwC in its Advisory business. He is a Chartered Management Accountant and has a BA (Hons) in Management from the University of Nottingham.

Von der Gathen has meanwhile been with the firm for two decades and is based in the company’s head office. He heads the Consumer Goods & Retail practice, which is one of the firm’s largest industry practices. Both Von der Gathenhas and Billige are already a member of the Executive Board.

While the appointment of co-CEOs is highly uncommon in the consulting industry, Simon-Kucher will not be worried, as the news signifies a return to a familiar formula. Tacke himself began life as a co-CEO, leading the firm alongside Klaus Hilleke – another 30-year veteran at the firm who still sits on the firm’s Executive Board – between 2009 and 2016.