ICF Olson Parts with Chief Creative Officer and Other Executives in Its Minneapolis and Toronto Offices

By Patrick Coffee 

ICF Olson, the collective formed when consultancy ICF acquired independent agency network Olson back in 2014, has parted with a group of C-level employees in its Minneapolis and Toronto offices over the past several weeks.

They include Olson chief creative officer Kevin McKeon, general manager Tanya Bennett and SVP of marketing Nicole Nye, along with president Mike Brown of ICF Olson Canada.

Louise Clements, the former MRM//McCann president who became global agency lead across the network just over a year ago, confirmed the changes today. Late last year, the agency also parted with president and COO Margaret Murphy and eliminated the former title.

She stated that McKeon and Bennett left the organization “to pursue other opportunities” and that Nye will soon begin a position with another agency after more than a decade with Olson, where she was previously director of accounts and VP of marketing.

Jurene Fremstad, who was recently promoted to chief strategy officer at the larger ICF Olson organization, has also stepped down from her position. According to Clements, she will remain with the company “in a part-time capacity” working on unspecified projects related to the network’s “anthrolytics” practice.

Clements clarified that the agency has not hired replacements for the departed leaders and that it does not plan to fill out its creative team at Olson. “We have significant bench strength across the collective,” Clements said, specifically referencing the marketing advisory company Trade, which was acquired late last year. She did state that the company will soon name a new chief strategy officer.

“We are a very nimble, flat organization,” she added in explaining why the creative agency is not seeking a new CCO.

McKeon went to Olson in July 2015 after spending more than a decade with StrawberryFrog, where he had been chief creative officer and partner. He previously worked at BBH, where Adweek called him one of “the best creatives you don’t know.” In a 2005 profile, he described himself in three words: “rock-hard abs.

Mike Brown has stepped down from his role leading Olson Canada. In a related LinkedIn post last week, he thanked colleagues for “a wonderful and moving sendoff” and discussed his plans to spend the summer with family before determining where he will go next.

ICF Olson currently consists of brand shop Olson, Olson 1to1 for loyalty and CRM work, Adobe global partner Olson Digital, and experiential, PR and social division Olson Engage. Its client roster includes Skittles, Oscar Meyer, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and, of course, Adobe.