ISS 2018 Speaker Bio: Christopher Thomas, McKinsey & Company

Christopher Thomas
Partner, Global Digital and Advanced Technology Strategy Practice & Asia Semiconductor Practice,
McKinsey & Company

Chris leads our Semiconductors Practice in Asia, serving fabless, equipment IDM (integrated device manufacturer), and foundry players across Japan, Korea, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Taiwan. He focuses primarily on strategy, corporate finance, product development, sales, marketing, and global operations topics for Asian and global multinational semiconductor, original design manufacturer (ODM), and system companies. Recent work includes:

  • developing a strategy, partnership, and investment plan for an Asia-based vendor of leading-edge semiconductor equipment, leading to substantial capital investment and deepened R&D collaboration with leading customers
  • helping craft the mid-term corporate plan and product portfolio strategy for a leading Asian industrial and automotive semiconductor IDM
  • working with a leading semiconductor manufacturer in the Internet-of-Things (IoT) segment to create a “beyond silicon” strategy to pursue new profit opportunities beyond the core business
  • benchmarking cost, yields, process efficiency, cycle time, and manufacturing agility across multiple leading-edge semiconductor manufacturers
  • helping an Asian ODM develop an end-to-end digital strategy including using analytics to drive R&D productivity gains
  • developing an in-depth perspective on the China semiconductor market, including its future growth prospects, the new PRC government policy, and Chinese capital investors pursuing cross-border transactions
  • evaluating China entry strategic options for a leading global semiconductor manufacturer, leading to JV and partnership negotiations with Chinese companies and government entities


Prior to joining McKinsey, Chris spent ten years at Intel. He was the general manager of Intel China with joint line ownership for the region’s $5 billion-plus P&L. In this role, he oversaw China’s successful elevation from a sub-regional sales unit to an independent regional P&L unit reporting directly into headquarters. He previously held multiple executive roles at Intel’s global headquarters.

Chris is a visiting professor of strategy at China’s leading academic institution, Tsinghua University, where students have ranked his course #1 each of the last 3 years.