Minneapolis-based advertising agency Olson announced Tuesday that it has named John Partilla its new CEO, effective immediately.
 
Partilla, a 27-year media- and agency-industry veteran, replaces Kevin DiLorenzo, who joined Olson 10 years ago.
 
DiLorenzo will remain with the agency as a “significant” shareholder, a director, and a senior adviser to Partilla, and he doesn’t have immediate plans to join a different agency, Olson spokesman Jeremy Mullman told Twin Cities Business.
 
Mullman said that the decision to replace DiLorenzo was made by the company’s board, stressing that DiLorenzo, who is a director, was involved.
 
Mullman said DiLorenzo was appointed CEO in 2010 so he could grow the agency through acquisitions, adding that during his tenure, DiLorenzo oversaw acquisitions of agencies in Minneapolis, Chicago, and Toronto, and nearly tripled Olson’s revenue.
 
Meanwhile, “John is the perfect guy for the next phase of our growth,” which will involve growing the company organically and expanding the agency’s client base and the scope of work that it performs for its current clients, Mullman said.
 
“Kevin’s contributions were invaluable,” John Olson, founder and co-chairman of the agency, said in a statement. “He was the perfect leader for consolidating our acquisitions and creating a model focused on forward-thinking brands. John Partilla’s experience with driving national and international brands, as well as his sheer enthusiasm for the agency, makes him the absolute right person to help drive us to the next level.”
 
Partilla was most recently chief operating officer of New York-based agency Dentsu Network West, where he helped to boost organic growth by more than 30 percent. Prior to that, he led global media sales as president at both Clear Channel Communications and Time Warner.
 
Olson is Minnesota’s largest advertising agency based on revenue, which totaled $91 million in 2011. The agency employs about 425 people, including about 335 in Minnesota. Its clients include Amtrak, Best Buy, MillerCoors, Northwestern Mutual, Target, Saucony, and Wrigley.

In December 2011, DiLorenzo was named one of Twin Cities Business' "200 Minnesotans You Should Know." To read his profile in that feature, click here.

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