The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. at a Glance


  • "Amazing client impact and professional development."
  • "Health care benefits and the people."
  • "Learning and development are incredible at BCG."


  • "Frequent travel, long hours."
  • "Environment can be high pressure."
  • "Intense focus on client only."

The Buzz

  • "Ivy League."
  • "Big presence and authority."
  • "Innovative but no life-work balance."
  • "Strategy Premier League."

About The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.

The name may sound local, but The Boston Consulting Group's reach-and expertise-is anything but. With over 10,000 employees in 82 offices in 46 countries, the firm ranks as one of America's Largest Private Companies, according to Forbes magazine. Clients typically include many of the world's 500 largest companies, but BCG also counts midsized businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies in North and South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Australia among its clients. The firm's consultants-who have included notables such as Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi; Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric; Jim Koch, founder, CEO and Brewmaster of Boston Beer Company; Sally Blount, dean of the Kellogg School of Management; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and Grammy Award winner John Legend-are experts in a number of industries, including consumer goods, retail, financial services, industrial goods, social impact and nonprofit, energy, health care, insurance, technology, media, and telecom. 

The firm helps clients with a number of specific management needs within its broad functional practice areas, such as growth strategy development and execution; business portfolio management; mergers and acquisitions; postmerger integration; productivity and efficiency improvement; marketing and pricing; supply chain management; IT infrastructure; customer and supplier relationship management; sustainability; turnaround; and private equity, among other services. 

The Henderson legacy

BCG was founded in 1963 by Bruce D. Henderson, a former Bible salesman and Harvard B-school dropout. Challenged by the CEO of The Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Company to form a consulting arm for the organization, Henderson responded with an aggressive strategy. While his first month's billings amounted to $500 and his office had a staff of just two by the end of his first year in business, Henderson's subsequent success is impossible to deny-and it was driven largely by expansion. In 1966, BCG became the first Western strategy consulting outfit in Japan, and a string of offices throughout Europe soon followed. By 1976, half of the firm's revenue was being generated outside the U.S.-a year after Henderson laid out a plan for employee stock ownership that saw the firm fully owned by BCGers in 1979. Such was Henderson's reputation within the business world that, following his death in 1992, no less a publication than the Financial Times wrote that "few people have had as much impact on international business in the second half of the twentieth century as the founder of The Boston Consulting Group." 

In 1998, BCG established the Strategy Institute, a sort of consulting think tank set up to apply insights from a variety of disciplines to the strategic challenges facing both business and society. Among the concepts developed by the firm over the years are the experience curve (which charts improvements in efficiency as experience is amassed), time-based competition (an approach that recognizes speed as an essential component of success), disease management (an approach to patient care that takes a more systemic view of quality and costs than traditional approaches), richness versus reach (the trade-off inherent in the economics of information), trading up and trading down (consumer spending phenomena) and globality (the post-globalization era in which everyone from everywhere competes for everything). 

Not the stuff of fairytales

Perhaps the innovation that the firm is best known for, however, is its growth-share matrix. While a tool that utilizes images such as cows, stars and dogs might sound fanciful, the matrix is one serious piece of business methodology-and one that has become a core tool used by businesses the world over. A graphic representation of a firm's money flow, the growth-share matrix divides a company's assets into four categories-the three mentioned previously, plus question marks. While a full description of the methodology is available on BCG's website, the basic meaning of each category is as follows: a cow represents a "cash cow," a low-growth, high-market share pursuit (generally the bread and butter of any business); a star is an enterprise that both uses and generates a lot of money, usually on the way to achieving cow status; a dog tends to be labor-intensive but provides little return on investment; and question marks are to be avoided at all costs-basically representing money pits that absorb resources but produce little revenue. 

Falling in line

While many of BCG's consultants come from some of the best business schools in the world-including the University of Chicago, Harvard, INSEAD, Kellogg, Stanford and Wharton-not everyone working at the firm has a business background. A number of consultants have degrees that range from economics, biochemistry and engineering, to psychology, classics and law. 

Whatever their background, the firm organizes its brainpower into formal practice areas, which include the functional and industry areas listed above, as well as timely issues such as managing through the downturn, cloud computing, megatrends, operational transformation and turnaround, sustainability and talent management. 

PTO: Not just an acronym 

It's no secret that life in a top-tier consuIting firm can be stressful, and that dealing with hours can be one of the hardest aspects for consultants to deal with. To address the challenges of the job, BCG partnered with Harvard Business School in the creation of its PTO (Predictability, Teaming, and Open Communication) program, which it debuted in 2005. Since then the firm has rolled this out across U.S. Systems, launched worldwide, and it is now in every BCG office. According to the firm, "PTO is now a fundamental BCG People Platform, used to drive business priorities at case level, driving client value, while giving our employees a sense of control and accomplishment. This program recognizes that a satisfying, sustainable career at BCG is about more than minimizing hours-it is also when you have personal control, purpose and accomplishment." 

Paying it forward

BCG is big on being good. Its social impact practice network, which functions like one of the firm's formal practice areas, works with clients on socially conscious issues, including public health, education, community and economic development, environmental preservation, hunger, and arts and culture. The network chose its focus areas based on the UN Millennium Development Goals, which set targets for combating poverty, illiteracy and disease for the world's poor by 2015. 

Building the business canon

As might be expected of a company with so many experts and a dedication to research, BCGers put out their fair share of publications-so many, in fact, that in 2006, the firm collected some of its biggest thoughts over the past 40 years into one volume, entitled The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy. Aimed at executives across all industries, the anthology offers both the now-established wisdom as the company conceived it years ago, as well as more recent thoughts on the state of business. The themes, in many cases, have remained consistent over the decades: Retain competitive advantage, break compromises, realize the value of time, and remain aware of second- and third-order causes. 


June 2015

BCG Health Care Expert Stefan Larsson Named One of the Year's Top Consultants

Larsson, Global Leader of The Boston Consulting Group's Payer and Provider Sector, Is Honored by Consulting Magazine for Excellence in Health Care

Dr. Stefan Larsson, global leader of Health Care Payer and Provider Services at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), has been named one of the top 25 consultants of 2015 by Consulting magazine, the industry's leading trade publication. Larsson, who is based in Stockholm and leads the BCG Health Care practice in the area of value-based health care (VBHC), was honored in the Excellence in Health Care category. 

May 2015

BCG Acquires Purpose-Driven Consulting Pioneer BrightHouse

Seeking to deepen its expertise in organizational transformation and bring the power of creativity to positively impact business, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) announced today the acquisition of BrightHouse, LLC, a global consultancy with a top reputation in purpose-driven consulting, a field it pioneered and has continued to lead for 20 years. BCG also announced the hiring of Doug Shipman, founding CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta and a BCG alumnus, as incoming CEO of BrightHouse. BrightHouse will operate as a stand-alone business unit within BCG and will retain its top leadership team. Founder Joey Reiman-a well-known authority on leadership, marketing, and creativity-will remain actively involved as Chairman. Cathy Carlisi will stay as President and Chief Creative Officer, and Dolly Meese will continue as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. 

April 2015

The Boston Consulting Group Launches Institute in Honor of Founder Bruce Henderson's 100th Birthday

Institute Will Focus on New Ideas on Strategy, Organization, and Performance, Including a Center for Macroeconomics

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the world's leading management consulting firms, today announced the establishment of The Bruce Henderson Institute, which will be dedicated to pioneering new ideas and approaches to solving business challenges. BCG is launching the institute to honor and celebrate Bruce Henderson, the firm's founder, on the hundredth anniversary of his birth. The Bruce Henderson Institute will develop and translate innovative ideas from within and beyond business to help influence how organizations think about strategy and execution. With a global focus, the institute will examine the implications of the major trends and discontinuities affecting businesses and societies. 

"Bruce was truly a leading pioneer in business strategy and a key figure in the development of today's management consulting industry," said Richard Lesser, BCG's president and chief executive officer. "Many of his original ideas and concepts for understanding business opportunities and challenges continue to be used by consultants and business leaders around the world. In a period of immense challenges for the global economy, the establishment of The Bruce Henderson Institute exemplifies BCG's commitment to stay on the cutting edge of ideas and to translate those ideas into meaningful business impact." 

March 2015 

BCG Climbs to Number Two on Fortune's '100 Best Companies to Work For' List, Extending Its Streak Near the Top',Firm Enjoys the Highest Ranking Among Consultancies by a Wide Margin

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the world's leading management-consulting firms, has extended its remarkable streak near the top of Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. Ranking number two this year, up from number three last year, BCG has made the top five for five years in a row and is one of only two companies to make the top dozen every year since it began participating in 2006.

June 2014

Tom Reichert Named One of the Year's Top Consultants

Thomas Reichert, chairman of North America for The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and an expert in banking and information technology, was named one of the top 25 most influential consultants of 2014 by Consulting magazine, the industry's leading trade publication. Reichert, who is based in New York and oversees the firm's operations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, won in the Excellence in Leadership category. 

January 2014

BCG Launches Digital Ventures

BCG Digital Ventures goes beyond providing consulting, design, and technology services to form strategic venture teams with its clients in order to rapidly develop, launch, and grow transformational digital products, platforms, and businesses. The new firm is a wholly owned business unit headquartered in Manhattan Beach, CA, with initial offices in San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and London. With the wealth of BCG's digital assets and resources from around the world at its disposal, BCG Digital Ventures will combine hundreds of experienced practitioners and leverage BCG's substantial intellectual property.

To run this new business unit, BCG has hired a number of seasoned operators, entrepreneurs, and advisors. Jeff Schumacher, former managing director and cofounder of Booz Digital, has been named CEO. He has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, operator, and advisor. This world-class, multidisciplinary group of professionals combines decades of experience with leading digital innovators and disrupters to offer distinctive capabilities in product management, human-centered design, technology, and operations.

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Company History



The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.

One Beacon Street
10th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 850-3700
Fax: (617) 850-3701


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: Rich Lesser
  • 2014 Employees: 10,500

  • Employment Contact

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Functional Practice Areas and Capabilities
    Corporate Development
    Corporate Finance
    Digital Economy
    Information Technology
    Managing in a Two-Speed Economy
    Marketing & Sales
    People and Organization
    Postmerger Integration
    Risk Management
    Transformation and Large Scale Change
    Industry Practice Areas and Expertise
    Consumer Products
    Energy & Environment
    Engineered Products & Infrastructure
    Financial Institutions
    Health Care Payers & Providers
    Media & Entertainment
    Medical Devices & Technology
    Metals & Mining
    Private Equity
    Process Industries
    Public Sector
    Social Impact 
    Transportation, Travel & Tourism

Major Office Locations

  • Boston, MA (HQ)

    82 offices in 46 countries

Key Financials

  • 2014 Revenue: $4,550 million

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