BCG’s founder developed breakthrough concepts, establishing the firm’s reputation as a pioneer of business strategy. For decades, these ideas have inspired companies to look beyond their core processes, to recognize the dynamics of a changing world, and to position themselves accordingly.
In 1963, Bruce Henderson founded BCG, which at that time was the Management and Consulting Division of the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company—itself a subsidiary of The Boston Company.
A former Bible salesman, Henderson had earned an undergraduate degree in engineering from Vanderbilt University before attending Harvard Business School. He left Harvard 90 days before graduation to work for Westinghouse Corporation, where he became one of the youngest vice presidents in the company's history. He would leave Westinghouse to head Arthur D. Little's management services unit before accepting an improbable challenge from the CEO of the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company to start a consulting arm for the bank.
His upstart firm consisted of one room, a desk, no telephone, and no secretary. Bruce’s unrelenting focus on strategy became the cornerstone of BCG—along with his belief that he could change the world through his work. By the time he stepped down as CEO in 1980, BCG had seven offices and 249 consultants.