Ryan Olohan is officially transitioning from Googler to Klickster. The Google vet has been named EVP of growth for Klick Group, the organization announced today. 

Olohan will leverage the nearly 16 years he spent at Google, including as managing director of healthcare, to assist Klick’s biopharma clients with digital media strategy. He will report to EVP and partner, growth Alec Melkonian

“This is going to provide a halo on our whole ecosystem and turbocharge our media capability,” said Klick Group chairman and CEO Leerom Segal.

Given that Olohan and Segal first started working together about a decade ago, the hiring seems more like a homecoming, Segal said.

“In my mind, this has been 10 years in the making. We’ve always felt like he’s much more than a valued partner and part of the family, but now he is,” he added.

Segal praised Olohan’s impact at Google, where he grew the tech behemoth’s pharma and OTC offering from a multimillion- to a multibillion-dollar business before being asked to do the same for its food and beverage clients. He also doubled the size of the company’s health industry team — which included Stefani Klaskow, currently Google’s director of healthcare.

Olohan founded the Google Healthcare Advisory Board and was named a 2017 and 2018 MM+M/PR Week Health Influencer, as well as a Top 40 Healthcare Transformer. He was head of CPG/home and personal care at Google from 2009 through 2012.

Olohan moved into the restaurant sector two years ago at the behest of his employer, but said his “heart is in health” and that he’d been talking with Segal on and off about a way to return to the industry. 

“We’ve talked forever about ‘run faster, aim higher because lives depend on it,’” Olohan quipped, citing a familiar pharma industry mantra. “Sometimes while at Google, I sat there thinking, ‘We’re trying to run fast but there’s roadblocks along the way, because not everyone is running as fast.’ I want to be a part of a team that is desperately wanting to run faster.”

Olohan said he sees an opportunity to work with Klick’s existing client portfolio to “double down” on digital. “Digital is essential to the growth for all of its partners, but that’s just one piece of the pie,” he noted.

Growing that portfolio is also part of his remit. While at Google, Olohan recalled, his team worked with more than 100 agencies. 

“I’ve seen some agencies that probably weren’t doing as good a job for their partners as they should have,” he said. “There’s opportunity when others in the industry understand the value that the Klick team can bring.”

Klick’s revenue climbed 14% to an MM+M-estimated $480 million in 2021, according to MM+M’s 2022 Agency 100. The company’s staff size swelled 30%, to 1,498.

“We’ve already done the hard work in bringing in the right people,” Olohan added. “Now that we have them in place, it’s just the industry understanding they can do better. And we can do better together.”