Jared Stein is the new president and CEO of Toronto agency The Hive, with previous CEO Rick Shaver stepping aside though remaining actively involved.
“Jared represents the new face of marketing communications,” said Shaver in a release. “He fully understands the importance today of making authentic connections with consumers and of providing a value exchange between brands and their audiences.”
The only other management change announced by The Hive is the departure of longtime partner and managing director Trent Fulton. The remaining partners leading the agency alongside Stein are chief creative officer Simon Creet; chief experiential officer Jennifer Lukas; CFO Troy Hayball; The Hive chairman Andy Krupski, as well as founding partners Shaver and Ted Rakoczy. Key clients at the agency include McCain, Metro, OLG, Coca Cola and Heineken.
Stein joins The Hive from Sid Lee, where he was an executive vice-president, partner for growth and innovation. Before joining Sid Lee in 2011, Stein spent a number of years at Taxi in senior account management roles.
Stein said he was drawn to The Hive’s emphasis on what it calls “Valuable Encounters.” The agency describes its positioning as the recognition that reaching today’s consumer through traditional advertising can be difficult, and that brands need to add value to peoples’ lives—they should “entertain, excite, inform, improve, impact or involve” consumers.
That vision appealed to Stein as he considered life after COVID. “After a year of isolation and really examining what I want to do with the next 40 years of my career, I wanted to take a slightly different track,” he said (40 years? So no early retirement? “I have three kids; I know what I’m in for,” he said).
“I think it’s fair to say that everyone is starved for some form of human connection. And so, it puts agencies like The Hive at a distinct advantage to be able to bring those experiences to life,” he said.
The Hive’s focus on creating experiences and “valuable encounters” is where the industry has to go, he said. “It is not about advertising. It’s about connecting with consumers, it’s about connecting with people…. I have a deep belief in the ability of brands to create bonds with consumers, a very human connection that can be made at an emotional level.”
As for Shaver, Stein said that while he’ll be handing over the reins, he’s definitely not retiring. “I wouldn’t let him. Not now anyways,” said Stein. “He will help in the transition and make sure I’m set up for success.”