Dr. James Neely

Dr. J. Neely


J. Neely is a specialist in mergers and restructurings in the consumer products and industrial sectors for Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting business. Based in Cleveland, he is a Principal with PwC US. He works with publicly traded and privately held corporations. Examples of his work include:

  • Leading a merger planning program for two North American consumer products businesses, resulting in $600 million in annual savings and a capability-building agenda that captured best practices from both companies
  • Planning two mergers, three divestitures and a spin-out for a consumer healthcare business, resulting in $200 million in synergies and $70 million in stranded cost reductions
  • Leading a global merger of two agricultural businesses, resulting in $130 million in synergies, avoidance of bankruptcy, refinancing of the new company, and a strategy to take on more value added work and provide solution based services
  • Developing a turnaround strategy for a polymers business facing a down cycle and demand shifts to international markets
  • Leading a three-way, private equity based merger of bath and kitchen products companies

Dr. Neely has published numerous articles on merger and industry-related topics, including “Nine Steps to Prevent Merger Failure” (Harvard Business School Working Knowledge), “The Core’s Competence: The Case for Recentralization in Consumer Products Companies” (strategy+business), “Seven Reasons Divestitures are Harder than You Think” (Chief Executive Magazine), and “Consumer Products Companies are Consolidating Again – Aren’t They?” (GMA Forum).

Dr. Neely was previously at IBIS Associates, where he consulted on advanced materials technology commercialization. He also helped start a contract R&D firm, and was a researcher in M.I.T.’s International Motor Vehicle Program.

He holds a Ph.D. in technology, management, and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also earned an Master’s in materials engineering. He has an engineering B.A. from Alfred University.

J., his wife Shawn, and four young children reside in Shaker Heights, OH. In addition to many family and school activities, they enjoy a number of sports together including tennis, swimming, and golf. J. also enjoys collecting wine and reading about industrial history.