Bruce Olson to retire from Marcus Theatres
Bruce J. Olson, president of Marcus Theatres and senior VP of The Marcus Corporation, will retire effective September 2013. Olson will remain with the company through the first quarter of the company’s fiscal year and for a period beyond to ensure a successful transition. He will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors.
“A formal search for a new president of Marcus Theatres Corporation will be conducted over the next few months and a succession plan will be implemented by the fall. Both internal and external candidates will be considered for the position,” said Gregory S. Marcus, president and chief executive officer of The Marcus Corporation.
Olson was hired in 1974 by the late Ben Marcus and his son Stephen H. Marcus. His first responsibilities were advertising, marketing and public relations for the company’s restaurants, hotels, motels and theatres. He was named VP of communications in 1978 at the age of 28. During his career, he assumed other corporate roles including VP of administration and planning, where he instituted formal strategic planning for all four divisions in the late 1980s. He also served as president of Marcus Restaurants, where he developed 20 Applebee’s restaurants, rebuilt over 30 Kentucky Fried Chicken stores and repositioned, replaced or disposed of another 60 restaurants. He was elected to The Marcus Corporation board of directors in 1996.
As president of Marcus Theatres, Olson presided over the division’s growth from 56 screens in one state to 687 screens in seven states, to become the fifth-largest theatre chain in the United States. During his tenure, customer service, state-of-the-art technology and effective branding were important elements in the growth strategy. Popular brand names such as UltraScreen®, Take Five Lounge, Young-At-Heart, Big Screen Bistro and MDX™ – Marcus Digital Xperience™ added to the allure of the brand.
In making the announcement, Greg Marcus said, “Bruce is one of the most effective and respected executives within the U.S. exhibition industry. Over the next several months, he will continue to work closely with other members of the Marcus Theatres senior executive management team to achieve a smooth transition. On behalf of our associates across the company, we wish Bruce all the best in his retirement.”
Stephen H. Marcus, chairman of The Marcus Corporation, commented, “In working with Bruce for nearly 40 years, I came to recognize and value this multi-talented executive who has a tremendous passion for his company and its people. He skillfully guided not one, but two divisions of the company through some challenging times. We deeply appreciate his many contributions to The Marcus Corporation. He achieved solid financial performance for his divisions, strengthened our corporate culture, and most importantly, developed a talented and loyal management team that has been the hallmark of our success.”