Partilla Takes Over as Olson CEO

By Kiran Aditham 

Once again, good on ya, tipsters. A major changing of the guards has indeed taken place at Minneapolis agency, Olson, as John Partilla has succeeded Kevin DiLorenzo as CEO. Partilla joins Olson from Dentsu Network West (which includes McGarryBowen, Firstborn and 360i), where he spent the last two years as chief operating officer of the Americas, Europe and Australia.

In a statement, the new chief exec (you know, this guy) says, “It’s a wonderful honor to have been selected to build on the strong foundation in place at Olson, which does great business- and brand-building work with smart and breakthrough creative. Olson’s holistic model is truly the real deal. More and more, you’re going to see us punching above our weight.”

As for DiLorenzo, a 10-year Olson vet who took over for John Olson as CEO back in 2010, the outgoing exec is not necessarily “out” at the agency as tipsters are telling us. The Olson camp says that he will “remain active with the agency as a significant shareholder, director and senior adviser to Partilla, playing an active role in ensuring a smooth transition.” Take that for what you will, but anyhow, the incoming CEO will now lead the indie agency’s client roster that includes Amtrak, Best Buy, MillerCoors, Northwestern Mutual, Target, Saucony and Wrigley.

Prior to his time at Dentsu, Partilla held senior-level posts at Time Warner, Clear Channel and spent nearly two decades at Y&R, where he founded and served as CEO of its BrandBuzz unit.