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McKinsey offering some staff nine months’ pay to leave firm

McKinsey offering some staff nine months’ pay to leave firm
McKinsey is offering some staff nine months’ pay to leave the firm.

McKinsey & Co. has made a unique offer to some of its staff: Take nine months’ pay and go away.

The management-consulting firm is dangling the pay, along with career-coaching services and other resources, to some UK staff who’d like to leave. The move, first reported by The Times of London, is the latest personnel shakeup inside the storied counsellor to CEOs and heads of state and comes soon after McKinsey warned some US consultants that they were running out of time to win promotion. 

McKinsey and its peers in the consulting world have trimmed headcount, delayed start dates and slowed the pace of hiring over the past year amid declining demand from clients.

“These actions are part of our ongoing effort to ensure our performance management and development approach is as effective as possible, and to do so in a caring and supportive way,” a McKinsey spokesman said in an email. “A core part of our mission is helping people learn and grow into leaders, whether they stay at McKinsey or continue their careers elsewhere.”

The offer will be made to McKinsey’s engagement managers, who run teams of consultants on client projects, and associate partners, the Times said, citing people familiar with the move whom it would not identify. US-based managers have also received similar offers, the Times said. It’s unclear how many total staffers will be eligible for the offer.

At McKinsey, underperforming employees in client-facing roles tend to depart after being “counselled to leave” — a phrase that indicates the company doesn’t want them on client projects and recommends they try to find a different employer. In this case, though, staffers in good standing are providing their own counsel to leave, so to speak. Those taking the nine months of pay would still have to depart even if they couldn’t find a new job in that period. 

Last year, McKinsey embarked on a rare round of job cuts, planning to eliminate about 1,400 roles, primarily among support staff rather than client-facing roles. The cuts amounted to about 3% of headcount that had ballooned to almost 47,000 from 28,000 five years earlier. The McKinsey spokesman said the firm will “continue to recruit and hire robustly.”

McKinsey said it generated a record $16-billion in revenue last year and recently re-elected global managing partner Bob Sternfels, who faced challenges from other internal candidates for the coveted top job at the firm.

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