McKinsey & Company

Profile: McKinsey & Company

1- Name of NGO:

McKinsey & Company

2- Brief & Mission:

Established in 1926 by University of Chicago professor James O. McKinsey, McKinsey & Company is an international management consulting firm that provides its expertise to corporations, governments, and various other organizations. Collaborating with clients on matters such as strategy, advancing towards net zero emissions, technological leadership, and fostering sustainable and inclusive capacities, McKinsey has come under scrutiny for potentially having a part, albeit unintentionally, in the mistreatment of dissenting voices within Saudi Arabia.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

On the 20th of October, The Times disclosed that operatives affiliated with the government of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had engaged in activities to intimidate dissidents, including the alleged assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi within the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd.

Subsequent to this event, McKinsey produced a comprehensive nine-page report assessing the public perception of specific Saudi economic policies. The report identified three individuals who were key contributors to the predominantly adverse discussions on Twitter: Khalid al-Alkami, a writer based in Saudi Arabia; Omar Abdulaziz, a dissident residing in Canada; and an anonymous writer. Following the creation of this report, Khalid al-Alkami was apprehended, while Omar Abdulaziz’s brothers living in Saudi Arabia were incarcerated. The anonymous Twitter account was subsequently deactivated.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

The Saudi government took measures against the individuals highlighted in the McKinsey report. This circumstance notably emphasizes that the firm was directly involved with the Saudi monarchy for political purposes and has formed affiliations with the Saudi crown family.

5- Sources of Funding:

The collaboration between McKinsey and the Saudi government was not without compensation. There are allegations that the firm received substantial funding from the Saudi government.

6- Activities:

In December 2016, McKinsey & Company produced a report aimed at gauging public reactions subsequent to Saudi Arabia’s announcement of budget reductions and new taxes in response to plummeting oil prices. The report highlighted three Twitter users as “influential figures leading discussions in their respective fields.” Among these individuals was Omar Abdulaziz, a close associate and political ally of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was tragically killed in 2018 for his outspokenness against the Saudi government.

Critics contend that the government has increasingly employed social media as a tool to surveil dissent and coerce critics. The prosecutor-general emphasized that disseminating rumors or “false information,” including retaining such content on a computer, is subject to penalties of up to five years in prison or a fine of 3 million riyals, as per Saudi law.

7- NGO Leadership:

Robert Tesoriero holds the position of Leader for the Global Research Function & Client Capabilities Centers at the San José Client Capabilities Hub, while Dr. Nora Fietze serves as a Partner in the Client Capabilities Network and the Global Managing Partner Office based in Hamburg within the organization.

8- Controversy:

The occurrence highlights the potential for heightened scrutiny on Western companies operating in the kingdom, particularly those like McKinsey, as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spearheads a multibillion-dollar economic reform initiative. This situation arises in the aftermath of the worldwide condemnation triggered by Khashoggi’s demise. This firm is being utilized as an instrument by the Saudi government.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:
  • Address:USA
  • Email:

10- Classification/Blacklist:

McKinsey & Company’s engagement with the Saudi Arabian government involves overseeing social media initiatives. It’s worth highlighting that these endeavors are being carried out on behalf of an autocratic regime known for violating basic human rights. As a result of these affiliations, Edelman has been included in a roster of entities that are under scrutiny due to their associations with the Saudi government.

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