Shor tTakes Trends, Views and Analysis
As PwC’s Chief Creative Officer, Juan Morales designs a new business approach
Consulting: Let’s start here: How do you go
from graffiti artist to PwC Partner?
Morales: Well, I’ve always had a love and
passion for art. When I got to my rebellious
age, I guess graffiti was that outlet for me.
I developed a real passion for it, and it was
more organized than you’d think. I had a
group of friends and we’d spend a lot of time
discussing the projects and its goals so it
was really almost a creative director role all
the way back then. Eventually, that passion
had to turn into a real job and that’s when I
started to study design seriously. In university,
my graffiti background was helpful when
it came to studying graphic design. I began
in advertising, but I got to the point where I
was sort of looking to put my talents to use
for a more meaningful purpose, so when my
company was acquired by PwC it was exactly
what I was looking for. It definitely wasn’t the
typical path to Partner, but when I look back
I realize all the things happened in the right
order for me to end up where I am now.
Consulting: Can you tell me more about
your role as PwC’s Chief Creative Officer?
Morales: It’s sort of a two-sided role. On the
client side, I team up with someone from the
traditional consulting side to look at a clients’
challenges in a different way than we have
historically. We’re trying to give them a more
holistic solution to their problem. On the
other side, I’m helping innovate operations
and the process of how we work and how to
clear a path for the other creative folks to be
successful. As a designer, I never dreamed
that I’d be redesigning an business’ operating
model but that’s what I’m doing—creating
the right environment for creativity to thrive.
Consulting: I would imagine part of your
job is also about helping to bring creative
talent into the organization.
Morales: Definitely. Bringing that talent into
the firm is important, but I’m also making
sure the decisions we’re making as a firm can
attract that type of talent. What I’ve learned is
that there are a lot of creative people out there
like me—people looking for a different seat
at the table. People who were looking to have
their work have more of an impact.
Consulting: Would you say design is still a
niche area within PwC?
Morales: No, not at all. We are impacting the
firm in so many different ways. We’ve been
It’s not every day that a former graffiti artist makes Partner at PwC. But that’s just
what happened last year when Juan Morales became the first creative executive in PwC’s
history to make Partner. He joined PwC through an acquisition four years ago. As Chief
Creative Officer, he is tasked with bringing design thinking—and creative talent—
into the firm. Morales sat down with Consulting to discuss design, his career path and
PwC’s Experience Center, a place where PwC’s different disciplines come together—tax,
accounting, and consulting—to collaborate and solve clients’ challenges.