Russell Hensley

Russell Hensley, Director

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm that serves a broad mix of private, public, and social sector institutions.

Russell is a Director in McKinsey’s Detroit Office and a senior leader within the Firm’s Global Automotive and Assembly Practice. He joined McKinsey in 2003, has focused the past 14 years on strategic and operational transformations within the global automotive and multiple related industries, and leads the global automotive knowledge agenda for the Global Practice. Prior to McKinsey, he led Vehicle Engineering Operations at Ricardo Consulting Engineers and the Motor Industry Research Association North America respectively. Russell has a Bachelor of Engineering with Honors in Mechanical Engineering from Leeds University, England, and a Master in Business Administration with Distinction from the University of Michigan. He serves on the Industry Advisory Board of the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan. 

Recent McKinsey experience includes:

■ Operational transformation—led multiple engagements to accelerate operational transformation for a global automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) across multiple regions (Europe, North and South America). Developed functional excellence within Product Development and Procurement functions to deliver against global program cost and attribute objectives

■ Capital optimization—led global initiatives to optimize manufacturing capital expenditures (stamping, paint, and assembly) and vendor tooling costs for a global automotive OEM in North America, Europe, and Asia. Focus on the combination of a greenfield manufacturing construction and development of existing facilities

■ Product Development transformation—led product development organizational transformation from regional to global focus for leading global white goods manufacturer. Designed future state operating and management systems, and defined mindsets, behaviors, and capabilities for product development and peripheral functions. Created implementation plan and program management office to manage transformation

■ Manufacturing construction strategy—co-led formation of corporate strategy for an automotive manufacturing construction company, focused on domestic and international markets

■ Vehicle weight optimization—led initiative to accelerate target weight achievement on a global mid-size vehicle for global automotive OEM and to create a sustainable operating system to help the client replicate the effort across multiple vehicle lines

■ Organizational and governance transformation—led design and implementation of future rules package, officiating model, and governance for leading automotive organization

■ Strategic sourcing program and institutionalization—led the creation of a series of strategic sourcing waves at a leading global white goods manufacturer. Through series of product and supply chain cost benchmarks, optimized supply base and built internal sourcing academy

■ Strategic due diligence—conducted comprehensive due diligence on aftermarket diagnostics organization prior to the acquisition, estimating market opportunity in the event of diagnostics industry transformation

■ McKinsey global automotive knowledge—responsible for the creation, development, and leadership of the Firm’s automotive knowledge agenda. Address a broad set of topics including strategic market/industry outlook, digitization of the industry (development, manufacturing, and sales), sustainable mobility and connectivity/autonomy

■ Sustainable mobility—lead the development of the Firm’s perspectives and thought leadership on sustainable mobility (since 2008), speaking and publishing on a frequent basis

■ Capability building—lead efforts within Advanced Industries to develop curriculum and content to accelerate capability building with associates, engagement managers, and junior partners.


■ As the operations lead for Vehicle Engineering initially for MIRA North America and then Ricardo Consulting Engineers Incorporated, Russell spent over a decade managing the design, development, and manufacturing launch of vehicles and vehicle systems for automotive OEM and supplier clients. Focused primarily on the noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) and vehicle dynamics attributes, he supported the launch of major vehicle lines in Europe (England, Germany, and Belgium), North America, and Mexico for Big Three clients. Assignments included a mid-size vehicle in Germany, a sports sedan in North America and Japan, and a minivan in North America.


Recent examples of publications include:

■ Electrifying insights: How automakers can drive electrified vehicle sales and profitability, McKinsey Quarterly, January 2017

■ A Roadmap to the Future for the Auto Industry, McKinsey Quarterly, December 2014

■ Battery Technology Charges Ahead, McKinsey Quarterly, August 2012

■ Electrifying Cars—How Three Industries will Evolve, McKinsey Quarterly, June 2009.


■ Bachelor of Engineering with Honors (BEng Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Leeds, England

■ Masters in Business Administration with Distinction from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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