McKinsey statement: we regret the Moscow communication mistake

11 February 2021 2 min. read
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In a public statement, global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company has come out stating that it regrets sending out a politically flavoured communication to its staff in the Moscow office.

Earlier this month, the Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company’s office in Moscow drew considerable consternation from his own staff, after issuing a dictate seemingly banning them from political expression. The company-wide mail informed staff that anti-government protests and all posts on social media of a “political flavour” were off-limits to employees.

The mail was immediately criticised by staff, and after the mail leaked out to the Moscow Times, McKinsey’s controversial policy was on the streets. Moscow Managing Partner Vitaly Klintsov was quick to send out a further clarification, stating that he was aware of the concerns on the workfloor, further admitting that the firm’s policy was “incorrectly reflected” in the email.

McKinsey statement: we regret the Moscow communication mistake

For many, it was too late, and the consultancy – according to many the globe’s most prestigious consulting firm – faced a reputation backlash with several politicians in Russia and the US putting in sharp responses on the matter. 

In reaction to the upheaval, the Global Director of Communications at McKinsey & Company Ramiro Prudencio sent in a reaction on behalf of the firm to the Financial Times, stating that the firm’s global partnership “fully agrees” with the criticism on Moscow’s communication.

“Our Moscow office’s communication fundamentally misrepresented our policies and values. It was wrong and should never have been sent. Within 24 hours, the office issued corrections internally and externally. These corrections explained that McKinsey employees are free, in their personal capacity, to exercise their freedom of expression, including taking part in civic and political activities. This applies in Russia as it does to all countries where we operate.” 

The statement further reads, “It is incumbent on McKinsey to assure our policies are properly and accurately communicated to our teams and beyond. We regret this serious mistake.” 

Prudencio added that the firm’s global managing partner Kevin Sneader had addressed the issue internally and reinforced its policy in last week’s ‘Ask Me Anything’ – a meeting between the Sneader and all global employees who wish to participate.