Angus Dawson steps down as McKinsey Australia managing partner

05 December 2022 3 min. read
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Global strategy consultancy McKinsey & Company is set to elect a new managing partner for its Australian practice – with incumbent Angus Dawson having stepped down from the role.

Angus Dawson, the managing partner of McKinsey & Company’s Australia and New Zealand business, has according to a report from the AFR stepped down after three years in the role.

The publication quoted unnamed sources stating that his resignation was internally announced last week – his departure from the management and strategy consulting giant’s top job due to some “very difficult personal circumstances”.

Angus Dawson, McKinsey & Company

A founding member of the Champions of Change group and long-time advocate for gender diversity, Dawson has been recently embroiled in an ugly public dispute regarding co-ed acceptance at elite private Sydney boys’ school Cranbrook. As per the AFR however, his personal leave is unrelated to the fracas, with the death of his brother – esteemed defamation barrister Sandy Dawson – having since been reported.

Dawson has been with McKinsey & Company for over 25 years, first joining the firm as a business analyst upon graduation from the University of Sydney in 1996, and prior to his ascension served as the McKinsey Digital and Analytics practice leads for Australia, as well as overseeing the firm’s Strategy and Corporate Finance business for Asia. It’s expected he will remain at McKinsey and continue to focus on client matters.

According to his McKinsey bio, Dawson has worked closely with clients across the financial services, retail, consumer, and telecommunications sectors among others on a broad range of topics, including strategy, mergers & acquisitions, regulation, organisation, culture, and performance improvement. Underpinning this work has been a strong view toward technology-based disruption as fundamental to business transformation.

In a 2019 interview with the AFR, Dawson said of his managing partner role at the renowned firm; “You have to realise that most McKinsey partners are at McKinsey because they don't want to be told what to do. It’s a different type of leadership role. We joke it’s like herding cats. In some respects, everyone moves in their own direction, and the real art of leading here is to agree on the types of things we want to do collectively.”

Dawson took over from former McKinsey stalwart John Lydon in 2019 after the latter’s more than two and a half decades at the firm, including five years as Australia & New Zealand boss. Among other activities, Lydon has since joined the executive of the Greater Sydney Commission and co-chairs the Australian Climate Leaders Coalition. He has also supported aspiring female entrepreneurs as part of the ‘Sister Pitch’ mentoring initiative.

It is presently unclear who will be elected to step into Dawson’s vacant A/NZ role. McKinsey’s local leadership boasts at least a dozen senior partners, including prominent figures such as Chris Bradley, director of the McKinsey Global Institute, Simon Blackburn (Digital & Analytics leader), Wesley Walden (Global Transformation and Sustainability), Jules Carrigan (Public & Social Sector) and Joseph Tesvic (APAC operations) may also be candidates.