SoftBank adds former McKinsey partner Michelle Horn as chief people officer

05 February 2019

SoftBank Group Corp. (SBG) has hired Michelle Horn, former partner and director of client service personnel at McKinsey & Company, as its senior vice president and chief people officer.

In the newly created role, Horn will lead the recruitment and development of leaders within the SBG global organization. She will also be available to the high-growth portfolio companies in which SBG is invested, creating new approaches to increase value and scale within companies. Horn will report to Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SBG, and Marcelo Claure, SBG’s director and executive vice president COO.

“The addition of Michelle reinforces the quality of our leadership team, as well as the expertise and resources that we can provide to our global portfolio of companies,” Claure said in a statement. “Disruptive technology companies need access to both financial and human capital to fuel their growth and a culture that is able to sustain that growth over time. There is no better person in the world to help SoftBank and our companies in these areas, and we are thrilled to have Michelle on the team.”

SoftBank adds former McKinsey partner Michelle Horn as chief people officer

Horn joined McKinsey in 1995, and became partner in 2000. In addition to her aforementioned duties, Horn was also chief of staff to Dominic Barton, McKinsey’s global managing director. She was also a member of the company’s Leadership Development Council, which revolves around global leadership and its development. Her roles at McKinsey were greatly involved with organizational “talent-based transformation” – experience and skill that will serve her well at SBG.

“I am deeply committed to SoftBank’s unparalleled vision and mission to support the unique talents and business drivers of its portfolio companies,” Horn said. “In today’s highly competitive and global technology market, it is more important than ever for companies to build innovative strategies for talent development that help to create a sustained performance edge and drive long-term value. I am eager to work with the entire SoftBank team and the leaders of its portfolio companies to help attract the right people in the right places to achieve their business goals.”

Horn’s is the latest in a series of high-profile McKinsey departures from the company. Former partner Nick Brown late last month left the company to join UK-based management consulting firm Eden McCallum. Taimur Khan Jhagra, also a former McKinsey partner, left a prominent position at McKinsey’s Dubai office to serve as the provincial finance minister for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, in Pakistan.

SBG is a global technology player with aims to fuel the Information Revolution. It is under the umbrella of the SoftBank Group Corp, which has a global portfolio of companies such as artificial intelligence, smart robotics, internet services, and advanced telecommunications.

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Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO

18 April 2019

London-based global leadership consultancy YSC has appointed Eric Pliner as its new CEO, replacing Robert Sharrock, who held the role for five years. Pliner, previously the firm’s Americas leader, will remain based in New York City.

For 30 years, YSC Consulting has been providing leadership advisory services to clients across a wide range of industries. The firm provides services in the areas of leadership strategy, performance, research, and analytics. YSC also has offerings in organizational leadership and CEO & board advisory. The firm’s approach is grounded in the behavioral sciences, allowing clients to better align business strategy and leadership.

In 2017, Graphite Capital complete a private equity investment in the firm, which has allowed YSC to continue its rapid expansion across the globe. Today, the firm has 19 offices across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions, staffed by 225 professionals with backgrounds in clinical psychology and organizational behavior, among other areas.

YSC’s incumbent CEO, Robert Sharrock, will now move into the roles of managing director of YSC’s board and CEO of the advisory practice. Sharrock had previously indicated that he would move into a client-facing role following one year of results after the private equity infusion.Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO


 “Having achieved the goals we established as a business during my tenure, I look forward to fully devoting my time to the client service areas of the business I find most rewarding, which is working directly with board members and CEOs,” Sharrock said. “I will also be offering my unreserved support to Eric and our global team as we continue to expand our distinctive business around the world.”

Eric Pliner, who has been with the firm since 2010, will step into the role of CEO. An expert in organizational behavior, talent management, and development, Pliner joined the firm as a senior consultant, working his way up to managing director and head of YSC Americas in 2014.

Prior to joining YSC, Pliner was director of organizational talent management & development at the NYC Department of Education, and was an adjunct instructor in the curriculum & teaching department at Hunter College in New York. He holds an MBA in management, organizational behavior, and human resources from the City University of New York – Baruch College.

“Robert has successfully led the business through five years of sustained growth and shaped the brand into a premier global leadership consultancy,” Pliner said. “I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to lead this iconic firm as we continue to serve world-class organisations in understanding and developing the critical leadership to achieve their future business strategies.

“Whether through individual executive assessment, pre-deal due diligence and post-deal integration for private equity transactions, design and execution of inclusive leadership and diversity strategy, coaching for senior executives and teams, resilient change leadership, and more, YSC’s global services are and will remain distinctive, characterful, and best-in-class,” he added.

Related: Ohio-based consultancy Change 4 Growth launches UK office