Boston Consulting Group
Lifetime Achievement Award
At 23 years of age, Debbie Simpson says she knew she wanted to learn a lot and build a solid foundation for a career in business. At he time, she had no idea that would lead to
a life in the consulting profession. In fact, the career
choice was pretty much an accident. “And oh well,
pick a good city to live in, too,” she says.
Well, she sure picked a good one in Boston. But before
Boston Consulting Group, Simpson worked at Pricewater-houseCoopers for 16 years—nine as a partner. She led the
Northeast region’s international tax team for several years
and served on the U.S. Board of Directors. She greatly enjoyed her time at PwC, especially her years in client service and developing teams in a high-growth environment,
focusing on serving multinational organizations, she says.
Simpson joined BCG as a Partner in 2001 to assist the
firm in its global expansion, as well as oversee its expert
finance functions and HR operations, including compensation, benefits and mobility.
Today, Simpson is Chief Financial Officer, Head of
Functions, Senior Partner and Managing Director. In 2007,
Debbie became Chief Financial Officer and a member of
BCG’s Executive and Operating Committees. In this role,
she helped manage BCG through the 2008-2009 financial
crisis and subsequent years of high growth, overall helping
BCG triple in size over the last 11 years and deepening its
global footprint, with more than 17,000 partners and staff
located in 90-plus cities in more than 50 countries today.
It’s all this and more that led to Simpson being named
the 2018 Women Leaders in Consulting’s Lifetime
Achievement Award winner.
Although the recognition is surely a great feat, ask
Simpson her greatest achievement over the course of her
career and she’ll say that it was “helping BCG triple in
size during my tenure, but without losing who we are,”
something that remains very important to Simpson.
And that “not losing who we are” has been one of
the keys to the firm’s success and her longevity at BCG,
Simpson says. “I enjoy working for a global partnership
that really has purpose/culture that is special,” she says.
“It makes all the tougher days well worth it, and just