Under pressure from Democratic presidential rival Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday released the names of clients he worked for at the management consulting firm that employed him a decade ago.
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., worked for the Best Buy electronics chain, the U.S. Postal Service, the Pentagon, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and a coalition of power companies and environmental groups when they were clients of the firm, McKinsey & Co.
“Now, voters can see for themselves that my work amounted to mostly research and analysis,” he said. “They can also see that I value both transparency and keeping my word. Neither of these qualities are something we see coming out of Washington, especially from this White House.”
Buttigieg has said for months that he wanted to publicly identify the clients, but could not get permission from McKinsey to break his confidentiality agreement. On Monday, McKinsey released him from the deal, saying the clients had consented to disclosure because of “the unique circumstances presented by a presidential campaign.”
The 37-year-old war veteran has come under mounting criticism from Warren and other opponents as he has risen to the top of the polls in Iowa, the first state to hold a nominating contest in the Democratic presidential race. “I think voters want to know about possible conflicts of interest,” Warren said last week.
Buttigieg, in turn, urged the Massachusetts senator to divulge details of the income she received as a corporate consultant during her years as a law professor at Harvard University and other schools. On Sunday night, Warren released records detailing nearly $2 million in consulting work she did for a variety of clients, including Dow Chemical and the insurance firm Travelers Indemnity Co.
McKinsey, where Buttigieg worked after graduating from Harvard University and finishing his Rhodes Scolarship at Oxford, advises companies and governments on cost-cutting and management efficiencies. Its image has been battered in recent years as news stories revealed its work for authoritarian regimes, opioid manufacturers and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
On Tuesday, Buttigieg said he had “little decision making authority” at McKinsey, where he worked from 2007 to 2010.
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