Skip to main content
Back to

Thomas Meakin

Partner, London
Serves consumer-facing technology and media companies on their most challenging strategic and commercial issues

About Thomas

Tom is a partner in McKinsey’s Media & Entertainment and Strategy & Corporate Finance Practices. He serves clients on commercial issues, including growth strategy, digital marketing, and customer life-cycle management.

This specialisation is underpinned by extensive operational experience. Between 2015 and 2017, Tom launched a direct-to-consumer TV business and grew it to more than 1 million customers as chief operating officer.

Examples of Tom’s recent client work include the following:

  • driving radical improvements in churn at a western European telecommunications company through advanced analytics, personalised marketing campaigns, and predictive “next-best-action” modelling
  • building a new direct-to-consumer over-the-top business in Europe and Asia with aggressive digital-marketing interventions, a new customer life-cycle management capability, and overhaul of the company’s digital product
  • developing the corporate strategy for a global TV company, including establishing a direct-to-consumer “attacker” brand, defining monetization approaches by market, and building capabilities in product, analytics, and marketing
  • redefining the growth strategy at a European connected-home company by conducting detailed market and customer research, revising the product portfolio, and translating the new strategy into a business plan and portfolio of strategic initiatives

Besides his client service, Tom leads various knowledge efforts for the firm. He writes extensively on CEO transitions and speaks at high-profile external conferences, including the Web Summit and Mobile World Congress.

Outside McKinsey, Tom serves on the board of the Magdalen College Development Trust and was a founding governor at an academy—a high school for 11–16-year-olds—in south London. He is a keen runner who has completed the Marathon des Sables, a 250-kilometre ultramarathon in the Sahara Desert.

Published Work

Short-term pain for long-term gain: The new CEO’s dilemma,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2019

Closing the gender gap: A missed opportunity for new CEOs,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2018

What makes a CEO ‘exceptional’?,” McKinsey & Company, April 2017

How functional leaders become CEOs,” McKinsey & Company, April 2017

A deal-making strategy for new CEOs,” McKinsey & Company, April 2017

How new CEOs can boost their odds of success,” McKinsey & Company, May 2016

Past Experience

freenet TV
Chief operating officer

United States Senate
Legislative assistant to Senator Russel D. Feingold


University of Oxford, Magdalen College
BA, history