Zambezi’s New CEO Closes Agency for International Women’s Day

By Erik Oster 

Zambezi recently promoted Jean Freeman, who took majority ownership of the agency two years ago and previously served as COO, to the role of chief executive officer. Freeman replaced co-founder Chris Raih, who will continue to lead new business efforts as president,  in the role.

In a statement, Freeman, who last year introduced a revamped benefits package for the agency including three months of paid parental leave, “baby bonuses” for new and current parents and “unlimited paid time-off,” said that Zambezi aims “to become the most admired and progressive independent agency in the country.”

In one of her first decisions as CEO, Freeman decided to close the Los Angeles agencies offices today in honor of International Women’s Day and in support of “A Day Without A Woman,” a “one day demonstration of economic solidarity” in support of women’s rights and the rights of “all gender-oppressed people.”


In an internal memo Freeman sent to staff last Friday, she wrote that rather than solely have women participate in “A Day Without A Woman,” the agency was extending the effort to its men as well and that “Men and women need to be united to support this effort together.”

Here’s the internal memo in full:

Our company will be closed Wednesday, March 8th.
In support of  A Day Without A Woman, a movement to highlight the impact that women have on our society, Zambezi will be closed.
The movement has asked businesses to stand with women by giving them a day off to participate in solidarity.
Instead of just allowing women to have the day off to engage in this effort, we are extending this to the entire company. Men and women need to be united to support this effort together.