Microsoft Israel names McKinsey alumnus General Manager of R&D

24 January 2018

Microsoft Israel has named the 34-year-old former McKinsey consultant Assaf Rappaport as new General Manager of its research and development operations in the country. Rappaport will guide a team of 1,000 employees and replaces long-term former boss Yoram Yaacovi.

Rappaport’s rapid rise to GM of Microsoft Israel’s R&D arm comes after just two-and-a-half years with the software pioneers, joining in 2015 upon the company’s $320 million acquisition of Adallom, a cloud-focused cybersecurity start-up which Rappaport had co-founded in 2012.

Immediately prior to establishing Adallom (which was rebranded Microsoft Cloud App Security subsequent to its purchase) Rappaport had held a consulting role for two years with strategy giants McKinsey & Company, providing project management services for the firm’s Australian and Israeli branches across various industries, including the telco and finance sectors.Assaf RappaportRappaport joined McKinsey – which, according to its website, has been operating in Israel for over 15 years and counts 16 of country’s largest companies among its clients – after a period with the Talpiot program, an elite Israeli Defence Force training initiative for recruits with an exceptional aptitude in the sciences and for leadership, and completed his Masters in Computer Science while with the consulting firm – during which time he won software research awards from both Intel and Cisco.

Since his recruitment to Microsoft Israel, Rappaport has most recently been head of their growing Cloud Security unit, a role which he will continue to perform in addition to his appointment to head of the company’s local research and development centres – located currently in Herzliya, Nazareth, and Haifa, with the latter established in 1991 as Microsoft’s first research post outside of the US.

Rappaport will replace departed former R&D head Yoram Yaacovi, who has stepped down after having started with the company 25 years ago in 1993. The incoming boss said; "Microsoft has been undergoing a real revolution in the past few years. This is a company that with a culture of excellence, daring and innovation. Microsoft empowers its people, grows with them, and challenges them to achieve more. I am proud to lead this revolution in Israel.”

The purchase of Adallom by Microsoft in 2015 contributed to a bumper year for Israel’s tech start-ups – the local sector being described by McKinsey as the number one globally per capita – with the tech M&A market, according to a recent report from Big Four accounting and advisory firm PwC, just picking up again after a flat 2016. 

Carlos Ghosn's daughters get their career starts in strategy consulting

16 April 2019

With the Ghosn affair taking yet another twist, this time concerning allegations in Oman, the world’s media remains gripped.

A highly celebrated figure in Lebanon, the case of ex-Nissan and now ex-Renault head Carlos Ghosn has captivated the media round the world, with his re-arrest and detainment in Japan on further embezzlement charges last week – this time concerning allegations in Oman – delivering the latest twist in the saga. For his part, Ghosn continues to deny the charges, labeling the latest allegations of financial impropriety as “outrageous and arbitrary”.

Much of the media fascination stems from Ghosn’s remarkable story. Born to Lebanese immigrants in Brazil, Ghosn spent much of his youth in Lebanon before moving to Paris to pursue an engineering degree – and in almost no time arriving at the very top of the global automotive industry as a feted turn-around specialist, having rescued both Renault and Nissan from probable ruin. The other factor; a cultivated lifestyle of celebrity glamour.

Front and centre in that image was Ghosn’s young family, including a son Anthony and three daughters – Caroline, Maya and Nadine – who have all grown into their own spotlight in the international business and entrepreneurial worlds. And in line with that A-list background, all three of his daughters got their career starts at the crème de la crème of the strategy and management consulting world; prestigious MBB firms McKinsey & Company and BCG.The Ghosn family affair with the international consulting sector  The eldest Ghosn daughter, Caroline, joined McKinsey in 2007 following a BA in International Relations at Stamford University – before founding professional career network Levo in 2011 with three of her McKinsey associates. Her husband, Nicholas Flanders, CEO and co-founder of carbon reduction tech-company Opus 12, (and former COO of Levo), is likewise an alumnus of McKinsey – serving for three and a half years alongside Ghosn in the firm’s New York office.

Carlos Ghosn’s second daughter got her start at Boston Consulting Group.  A regonised name in luxury fashion as the founder and creative director of Nadine Ghosn Fine Jewelry, her brand counts and Beyoncé and the recently deceased fashion icon Karl Largerfeld among its celebrity clientele. At BCG, Nadine, who also graduated Stamford, served as an associate in the firm’s luxury and consumer goods practice before joining a management programme at Hermès.

Like her eldest sister, Ghosn’s youngest daughter Maya joined McKinsey’s New York office – spending over three years there as an engagement manager before departing in 2016. Maya is now Manager, Housing Affordability for the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Pricilla Chan to promote social equality. Incidentally, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, a former McKinsey consultant, has been a mentor to Caroline and also founded, where Maya first started out as an intern.

Carlos Ghosn’s son Anthony – who has now been embroiled in his father’s affair with accusations of money being funneled via Oman toward his financial services start-up, Shogun (where he is CEO but has not been accused of any direct involvement) – didn’t get his break at an MBB, but his step-brother, Anthony Marshi, the son of Carlos Ghosn’s second wife Carole Nahas, is a partner with BCG in New York according to French newspaper Le Figaro.