Lowering Growth Expectations, Empower Trims Staff By 15%

Cincinnati-based agency Empower has achieved extensive growth over the last half-decade, basically doubling in size from 2018 to 2021, when it posted a 30% revenue spurt. That year it was also named MediaPost’s Creative Agency Of The Year. 

Last year (2022) was less robust and one of the agency’s largest clients threw it a curve ball by cutting its media budget by about half. Still the agency grew moderately, about 3%. 

And up until recently Empower had been forecasting another banner year in 2023. But the agency now confirms that the outlook is not so positive and as a result the firm has made the tough decision to lay off about 15% of its staff, or nearly three dozen people. 



CEO Jim Price issued a statement: 

“Like many companies we have had explosive growth over the last 4-5 years. The unfortunate reality is we hired too many people, predicting continued year over year 30% + growth. 

“While we are very happy with our client mix, significant media scale and strong business fundamentals, with all of the signs pointing to a possible economic downturn, we simply do not see the same 30%+ growth and as such we needed to right size our team.” 

Last year proved to be a year of transition on the management side of the agency.  In May it parted ways with Chief Operating Officer Rob Fitzgerald, who had been with the agency since 2018.

“Rob did great work at Empower,” Price said. “He was a true advocate for the agency’s Un-Holding Company position. At the end of the day, I decided I was the best option for the next evolution of the agency.” 

Price also eliminated the role of Chief Client Officer and increased the number of Business Unit Leaders – all senior level talent focused on a core group of clients. 



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