Mike Sutton has been promoted to CEO of Toronto agency Zulu Alpha Kilo, a move that will free up agency founder Zak Mroueh to put more focus on the agency’s creative work.
“As a founder and entrepreneur, I’ve been trying to do creative, relationships, new business, operations, culture…the list goes on,” said Mroueh, who continues as chief creative officer while adding the title of chairman to his business card.
Promoting Sutton and giving him responsibility for some of the most important day-to-day aspects of the agency—such as client relationships, operational excellence, and financial health—will free Mroueh to spend more time on the creative work and vision for the agency.
“I don’t love the operational stuff, so that’s really what I’m shedding, so I can focus on taking Zulu to new heights creatively and, most important of all, dreaming up ideas for the business and our clients,” said Mroueh.
The promotion is part of a long-term “reengineering plan” for the 13-year-old agency. There have been a number or senior promotions and hirings in recent months as part of that plan, and expansion to other markets is in the works.
“A big part of our reengineering plan involves expanding Zulu’s footprint,” said Mroueh. ”The pandemic has shown us that people can work from anywhere, so we are looking to attract talent in other markets.”
The agency has won some new Canadian business beyond Toronto, and will be adding more talent because of that. “The other geographic market is the U.S.,” said Mroueh. “We’re in the process of finalizing these plans.”
Sutton has been with the agency since 2010, was made a partner in 2012, and president in 2013. Long considered one of the top creative agencies in Canada—with Mroueh one of the top creative minds—the agency has also appeared on Deloitte’s “Best Managed Companies” list three times.
Sutton has been in the industry for more than 20 years, getting his start with Henderson Bas, then spending five years with Grip before joining ZAK. “Zak and I make a great team,” he said in a release. “Looking to the future, we both want to nurture Zulu’s next generation of leaders and talent so the agency’s legacy can continue on.”