Ketchum Washington DC MD Jerry Olszewski to retire

He's planning to step down at the end of this month.

WASHINGTON: Jerry Olszewski, partner and MD of Ketchum’s Washington, D.C., office, is planning to retire. His last day is set for June 29.

KayAnn Schoeneman, SVP and director of Ketchum’s public and corporate affairs practice, is being promoted to marketplace leader and will oversee the office and its 100 employees.

Olszewski was named MD of Ketchum’s Washington D.C. office in 2015 on an interim basis while also serving as chief client officer. In 2016, he gave up the chief client officer role but continued to manage the office.

Ketchum hired Schoeneman as managing account supervisor in its D.C. public and corporate affairs team in 2008. She has also managed research and analytics for Ketchum Midwest, Ketchum South, Ketchum West, and Washington from 2014 to 2017 and was named SVP and head of the D.C. public and corporate affairs group in January.

D.C. employees were told about the change on Tuesday, and Olszewski said he’s been updating key clients since then.

Ketchum is undergoing a larger reorganization. In April, CEO Barri Rafferty confirmed the agency is moving to a single P&L, with changes in store for some of the firm’s top staffers. However, Olszewski said the restructuring isn’t why he’s retiring.

Olszewski has worked at Ketchum for 38 years, a rarity in the PR industry.

"It is unusual, and I don’t know how much we’ll see that in the years to come," he said. "Ketchum made it possible for me to reinvent myself in big ways at key moments in time. To me, it feels like I’ve had three different careers here."

Olszewski established London as Ketchum’s European hub, managed its European network, headed Asia-Pacific and Latin America operations, and was made the firm’s first chief client officer in 2008.

Ketchum is the world’s fifth-largest PR agency by revenue, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2018. Revenue at Ketchum dropped 4% last year to $517 million.

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