Olson, the Minneapolis/St. Paul agency acquired by management consultancy ICF International in 2014, parted with its president and COO Margaret Murphy this week. The parent company and larger ICF Olson network have begun the search for a new chief operating officer, and no Olson employee will hold the title of president moving forward.
An ICF International spokesperson provided the following statement:
Louise Clements, executive vice president for ICF International and group lead for ICF Olson, will be expanding her leadership team with the future addition of a Chief Operating Officer for the ICF Olson group in order to better serve client needs. As a result of this new organizational structure, Margaret Murphy, formerly President of Olson in Minneapolis, is no longer with the company. We thank Margaret for her leadership and wish her well in future endeavors.
ICF acquired Olson, which had previously been known as one of the country’s largest independent agencies despite a 2009 sale to private equity group KRG Capital Partners, in October 2014 for $295 million in cash. At the time, the agency stated that selling to a consultancy rather than a traditional holding company would allow for a greater degree of operational independence across the Olson network.
The larger network that includes Olson added ICF to its name six months ago just before hiring global agency lead Louise Clements, who previously served as president of MRM//McCann East for more than three years after holding a similar position at Toronto’s MacLaren McCann since 2010. She worked in the marketing departments of AOL, Rogers Media and Facebook before entering the agency world.
Clements currently leads the entire ICF Olson Group, which includes the ad agency as well as the PR/social media firm Olson Engage, the loyalty/CRM shop Olson 1:1, and digital/mobile integration operation ICF Olson Digital Solutions. The network currently includes around 800 employees in 14 offices across the U.S., Canada and India.
Murphy has worked in the marketing industry for more than 25 years. She became an Olson employee when the company acquired her former company, Denali Marketing, in 2010. She served as president and managing partner of that business as well as the resulting unit OlsonDenali, and in February 2011 she was promoted to president and COO of Olson, which is currently the largest integrated marketing agency in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Olson’s clients include Skittles, Bissell, Target and The California Lottery, among many other brands.