Andreas von der Gathen and Mark Billige lead Simon-Kucher

08 July 2019 3 min. read
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After more than eleven years at the helm of Simon-Kucher & Partners, the 60-year old chief executive officer Georg Tacke will per 1 January of next year pass on the baton to a next generation of leaders. Similarly to the period between 2009 and 2016, the German-origin management consulting firm has opted to place its faith in the hands of a joint leadership: Andreas von der Gathen and Mark Billige. 

When Georg Tacke commenced on his spell as CEO of Simon-Kucher & Partners, he could only have dreamed of the success the firm realised under his direction. In May 2009, the consulting firm generated less than €100 million in revenues. Today, after a decade of successive years of (strong) growth, the Bonn-headquartered consulting firm generates revenues of more than €300 million.

Tacke’s tenure at the firm however goes way back before he was appointed chief executive officer. He joined the consulting firm in 1988, just three years after it was founded by Hermann Simon, Eckhard Kucher and Karl-Heinz Sebastian. Two years later, Tacke became a partner. Together with the small leadership team at the time, Tacke played an instrumental role in growing the firm from a small German boutique into a what it is today. According to a survey of thousands of consultants in Europe by Vault, Simon-Kucher & Partners ranks as one of the continent’s top 20 most prestigious management consulting firms.

Georg Tacke, Andreas von der Gathen, Mark Billige - Simon Kucher & Partners

Alongside growing Simon-Kucher’s core proposition of commercial performance and sales & marketing (its offerings have been lauded by clients in several countries), Tacke has orchestrated the firm’s international expansion – Simon-Kucher today has 38 offices globally – and positioned the consultancy to be highly competitive in the booming digital transformation consulting market.

For three consecutive years, digitisation has been the firm’s star performing service line. Tacke: “Many companies have invested enormous amounts in digitalisation over the past few years. But they are seeing low impact. Companies turn to us for our support and expertise in developing profitable digitalisation projects.” 

If all goes according to plan, then when Tacke formally steps down, on January 1, 2020, the global consultancy will have touched the revenue barrier of €350 million. On that day, the German Andreas von der Gathen and the Englishman Mark Billige will formally take office, having been given a vote of confidence from the firm’s 114 partners as the most suitable duo to fill Tacke’s big shoes. 

By appointing co-CEOs, which is highly uncommon in the top of the management consulting industry, Simon-Kucher & Partners returns to a formula which gave it much success between 2009 and 2016, when Tacke co-led the consultancy together with Klaus Hilleke, another 30+ year veteran at the firm who still sits on the firm’s Executive Board. 

The 51-year-old Andreas von der Gathenhas been with the firm for two decades and is based in the company’s head office in Bonn. He heads the Consumer Goods & Retail practice, which is one of the firm’s largest industry practices. The 40-year-old Mark Billige joined Simon-Kucher in 2006 from industry, having previously served PwC in its Advisory business. He currently heads the London office, which looks back to two stellar years of growth. Both Von der Gathenhas and Billige are already a member of the Executive Board.