McDonald’s Vet Jeff Olson (No Relation) Joins Olson Engage

CHICAGO – Olson Engage has named McDonald’s Corp. veteran Jeff Olson to a newly created executive vice president role.

Olson, who is of no relation to the agency’s namesake, spent most of the last eight years at McDonald’s, where he held a number of senior external- and internal-communications leadership roles. Most recently, he was senior director for U.S. brand reputation and communications.

Prior to McDonald’s, he worked at agencies including Golin and FleishmanHillard, working with blue-chip brands and marketers including McDonald’s, S.C. Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co and Gatorade, among others. He helped lead SABRE- and PR Week Award-winning programs, and was himself a finalist for PR Week’s Young Professional of the Year award in 2001.

At Olson Engage, he’ll serve on the agency’s senior leadership team and help bolster the agency’s strategy, reputation-management, thought-leadership and business-development efforts.  At an agency that has prized developing its own people and promoting from within, he’s the first above-VP outside hire since 2007.

“We have rarely looked outside our walls for leadership, but Jeff was a rare candidate,” said Olson Engage President Bryan Specht. “His experience and talent will be a huge asset to our teams and clients in a number of areas.”

Olson joins the growing agency at a time when it’s being consistently recognized among the most creative and successful firms in the category. In the last month alone, it’s been named a finalist for PR Week’s Midsize Agency of the Year award, and received a show-high 18 finalist nods on the 2016 Insight & Innovation (In2) SABRE Awards shortlist. Those accolades follow 2015 honors including the agency’s first Cannes Lion and winning “Media Relations Campaign of the Year” honors from the Bulldog Reporter.

“The more I learned about Olson Engage, the more I was convinced that it’s on the cusp of something really different and really special,” said Olson. “I’m excited to be a part of it.”