David G. Fubini

Senior Lecturer, Henry B. Arthur Fellow

David G. Fubini is a Senior Lecturer in the Organizational Behavior Unit and co-leader of the Leading Professional Services Firm Program for Harvard Business School’s Executive Education.  Previously, he was a Senior Director of McKinsey & Company where he worked for over 34 years. He was McKinsey's Managing Director of the Boston Office, and the past leader of the North American Organization Practice as well as the founder and leader of the Firm’s Worldwide Merger Integration Practice.  During his tenure, David led, and/or had been a member, of every Firm Personnel Committee, as well as a participant in a wide cross-section of McKinsey’s governance forums and committees.

David's client work focused on helping clients architect and execute major transformational programs that accompany large acquisitions and mergers.  He led McKinsey’s efforts for several dozen of the world's largest transactions and has experience with a wide array of mergers and acquisitions over the last decade. In addition to supporting many major M&A transactions, David has led some of McKinsey’s largest organizational turnaround efforts for clients across the globe.

David is a member of several prominent Boston civic organizations. He has been appointed as a Trustee of the University of Massachusetts and named by the Mass. State Legislature as a member of the Massachusetts Court Management Advisory Board.  He has been an Executive Committee member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Boston Municipal Research Board, the Inner City Scholarship Fund, and is also a co-chair of the Board of Overseers of the Boston YMCA and is on the Board of WBUR.  In addition, David is a past member of Harvard Business School's Dean’s Advisory Council, and remains a member of the UMass Amherst Foundation, and the UMass Eisenberg School of Business Dean’s Committee.  He is the past Chair of the Board of the Park School, a member of the Beaver Country Day School Board, and a former member of the Dana Hall School Board. He is a member of the Boston Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Sustainability, remains an active contributor to the Catholic Schools “2010 School Reform” Committee, and is a Board member of the Weston Vermont Playhouse.

David is on the Board of Directors of MITRE, and Leidos (formerly SAIC) and was formerly on the Board of Compuware. He is also a member of the Shareholder Committee of ZS Assoicates Consulting.

Prior to joining McKinsey, David was an initial member of a small group that became the McNeil Consumer Products Company of Johnson and Johnson and helped launch the Tylenol family of products into the over-the-counter consumer marketplace. David graduated with a BBA from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an MBA from Harvard Business School, both with distinction. 

David is the author of two books: Mergers, Leadership Performance, & Corporate Health as well as Let Me Explain, a biography of his father Eugene Fubini’s life.

Journal Articles

  1. Launching a World-Class Joint Venture

    James Bamford, David Ernst and David G. Fubini

    More than 5,000 joint ventures, and many more contractual alliances, have been launched worldwide in the past five years. Companies are realizing that JVs and alliances can be lucrative vehicles for developing new products, moving into new markets, and increasing revenues. The problem is, the success rate for JVs and alliances is on a par with that for mergers and acquisitions--not very good. The authors, all McKinsey consultants, argue that JV success remains elusive for most companies because they don't pay enough attention to launch planning and execution. The launch phase begins with the parent companies' signing of a memorandum of understanding and continues through the first 100 days of the JV or alliance's operation. During this period, it's critical for the parents to convene a team dedicated to exposing inherent tensions early. Specifically, the launch team must tackle four basic challenges. First, build and maintain strategic alignment across the separate corporate entities, each of which has its own goals, market pressures, and shareholders. Second, create a shared governance system for the two parent companies. Third, manage the economic interdependencies between the corporate parents and the JV. And fourth, build a cohesive, high-performing organization (the JV or alliance). Using real-world examples, the authors offer their suggestions for meeting these challenges.

    Keywords: joint ventures; Mergers & Acquisitions; organizational structure; Strategic alliances; Joint Ventures; Alliances; Organizational Structure; Alignment; Mergers and Acquisitions;


    Bamford, James, David Ernst, and David G. Fubini. "Launching a World-Class Joint Venture." Harvard Business Review 82, no. 2 (February 2004): 90–100. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Susie Mulder at NIC+ZOE

    David Fubini, Joshua Margolis and Kerry Herman

    Susie Mulder must decide how to lead NIC+ZOE—the women's apparel brand she had recently joined as CEO—from its start-up phase into a disciplined growth phase. With growing revenues, a successful product line, and savvy private equity investors, NIC+ZOE seems perfectly positioned for growth, but the company is struggling to execute efficiently, and senior managers are torn about a key decision: whether to go into e-commerce or not.

    Keywords: leadership; leading change; clothing; fashion; fashion design; private equity;


    Fubini, David, Joshua Margolis, and Kerry Herman. "Susie Mulder at NIC+ZOE." Harvard Business School Case 415-043, December 2014. (Revised October 2015.) View Details