Jim Olson exits Steward Health Care after six-month stint

The United and Starbucks vet has revived his consultancy Hangar 6 Strategic Storytelling.

Jim Olson
Jim Olson

CHICAGO: After six months heading comms for Steward Health Care, Jim Olson has exited the healthcare network and "dusted off the wings" of his consultancy Hangar 6 Strategic Storytelling.

Olson joined Steward Health Care last September, reporting to CMO Brian Carty. Olson was Steward’s chief spokesperson, overseeing public image, global comms strategy, employee engagement and digital storytelling efforts. Steward is searching for a replacement, Olson said.

A Steward representative wasn’t immediately available for comment.

"While I’m very grateful for the experiences and proud of the great work our team accomplished during my past six months at Steward, it’s never a bad decision to put family first," Olson said via email.

Olson explained he’s relocated from Dallas, Texas, where Steward is headquartered, back to Chicago.

Hangar 6 is a consultancy Olson launched last year. He told PRWeek at the time that it is focused on helping clients move today’s businesses and organizations into being tomorrow’s leadership stories.

In addition to running Hangar 6, Olson signed back up as a senior adviser with Proof Analytics. Meanwhile, he plans on writing a book about leadership, "Headwinds, Tailwinds and Crosswinds: Leading in a Turbulent World," and doing some public speaking on the topic, he said via email.

Prior the forming Hangar 6, Olson was SVP of corporate comms at United Continental Holdings. While there, Olson endured a tumultuous two-year tenure, which saw a violent ejection of a passenger that ignited a crisis. His tenure also included union negotiations, a proxy battle with shareholder activists, and #LeggingsGate.

Olson resigned from his post at United in January 2018. Last May, the airline hired Josh Earnest as chief comms officer.

Before working at United, Olson had stints as VP of corporate comms at Starbucks and U.S. Airways before its merger with American Airlines in 2013. Prior to that, he was SVP of the global corporate practice at WE Communications, and a VP of corporate comms at Yahoo.

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