Kearney elects Middle East boss Bob Willen as global managing partner

27 March 2024 2 min. read
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Global strategy and management consulting firm Kearney has appointed Bob Willen – the firm’s Middle East boss – as its next global managing partner.

The 30-year Kearney veteran has been with company since 1995, and was elected partner in 2003. Since 2015, Willen has been at the helm of the Middle East and Africa region, leading the regional business through impressive growth.

Willen assumes his new role at the end of April, when current managing partner Alex Liu completes his second term in the office. Willen then leads a team of over 5,700 partners, consultants and staff across offices in 40+ countries.

Kearney elects Middle East boss Bob Willen as global managing partner

Bob Willen is Kearney’s next global managing partner.

Asked to state his top priority as the next managing partner, Willen said: “Having lived and worked on three continents, I understand the challenges our clients are facing around the globe and have seen firsthand how Kearney can be the difference through our relentless focus on results and innovation.”

Willen will have big shoes to fill. Under Liu’s leadership, Kearney has enjoyed consistent double-digit annual growth. The firm also underwent its largest rebranding since its inception in 1926 (from A.T. Kearney to Kearney), closed six acquisitions in growth areas (including Cervello, Prokura, and MSE in the Middle East), launched new offices, and expanded its digital and analytics expertise.

“I look forward to build on our positive momentum over the past five years and to continue delivering impact and value for our clients,” said Willen, who becomes Kearney’s 10th global managing partner.

In his client-facing work, Willen leads strategic and organizational transformations across industries, with a focus on consumer products, manufacturing, aerospace, defence, automotive, transportation, infrastructure, and government.

He is co-author of ‘Rebuilding the Corporate Genome’, which explores how companies can gain advantage from the breakdown and reconfiguration of value chains.

Teamwork has always been important to Willen. “I love to face challenges together with clients and help them make a real difference. However, you must earn the right to share your perspective, and that means gaining the knowledge and insight needed. I’m always learning.”

Before making the switch into consulting, he was an aerospace engineer at General Dynamics Space Systems (now United Launch Alliance).

Bob Willen holds an MBA from University of Virginia Darden School of Business, a master’s in aerospace engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor degree in Physics from the University of Virginia.