Bain & Company names Dave Michels as next leader for Japan

22 December 2021 3 min. read
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Company veteran and senior partner Dave Michels has been appointed as the next leader of Bain’s Japanese business after relocating to Tokyo earlier this year.

The Japanese arm of global strategy consulting firm Bain & Company has appointed Dave Michels as its new Japan country leader, with Michels to take over from Shintaro Okuno from the beginning of next year – noted as the 40th anniversary of Bain’s Tokyo office. A more than two and a half decade veteran of the firm, Michels currently heads up Bain’s global Change & Implementation practice.

“Japan is a very important market that has found its own way to grow without the economy coming to a complete halt, even during the pandemic,” commented Bain’s worldwide managing partner Manny Maceda. “We are confident that Dave's leadership of our global change and results delivery practice will provide strong support to executives in Japan as they navigate the difficult times during and post Covid-19.”

Dave Michels, Japan Leader, Bain & Company

Michel first joined Bain & Company in 1995 following the completion of an Economics and International Relations degree with Duke University (shortly after complemented by an MBA from Harvard Business School), and has since worked in multiple geographies spanning North and South America, Europe and Asia – including in India, and, following his relocation from Zurich earlier this year, Japan.

During his career at Bain, Michels has served clients across a wide range of industries – including healthcare, industrials, consumer products, retail, and financial services – providing advisory in areas such as operating model and improvement, growth strategy, commercial business development, and culture change. He is also a frequent author and speaker on leadership, transformation, and change.

“Dave’s diverse and global insight will be invaluable not only to Japan, but also to the entire Asia Pacific region which is going through rapid transformation,” said Bain’s Asia-Pacific Regional Managing Partner Satish Shankar, who at the time of his relocation stated that Michels was known as a trusted senior advisor for “his ability to inspire executives and to help companies identify and achieve sustained results.”

Michels will take the reins from Shintaro Okuno, who has served as Tokyo office head since 2014 after first joining the firm in 2003. Having completed his rotation under Bain’s ‘servant leader’ model, Okuno will from next year focus on serving the firm’s important client relationships as a senior partner.

Michels stated that as the firm evolves, it will inherit the deep knowledge of the Tokyo office cultivated to date. “Founded in 1982, the Bain Tokyo office will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2022 and I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all of our clients and partners who have supported us in our growth over the years,” he said.

“We are determined to further evolve our firm to enhance our clients’ corporate value in response to the increasing uncertainty and drastic changes in the social environment.”