Kristie Painting joins Pinterest as country manager

Pinterest has hired Wavemaker Canada CEO Kristie Painting (pictured) as its new country manager, concluding a search that started in the spring of 2021. She will assume the new role in April.

Painting will become Pinterest’s second country manager since opening its Canadian office in October of 2018. The position had previously been held by Erin Elofson, who was promoted to the company’s head of Canada and APAC in 2020.

“We really took our time finding the right leader for Canada as my successor, and wanted somebody who could build on the momentum we have here,” said Elofson.

The company cast a wide net to fill the role and attracted a lot of applicants, said Elofson. “[Canada] is a big and small industry at the same time, and we really took our time to find the right candidate,” she said.

Painting’s 20 years of experience in media and technology, which also includes leading digital sales for Bell Media, were all contributing factors in her hire, as were her “very deep” relationships with brands both domestically and internationally, said Elofson.

“She has a very unique depth and breadth,” said Elofson. “She’s been on the platform side, she’s been on the agency side, and is a true marketer and thought leader. The combination of those things is really special.”

“Pinterest is a dynamic platform, uniquely positioned to align brands with consumers actioning the ideas they discover,” said Painting in a release. “I am excited to build Pinterest’s momentum in Canada while helping more businesses maximize their audience reach through shopping on Pinterest.”

The hire comes as Pinterest looks to capitalize on its continued investment in creators and its growing user base, the vast majority of which comes to the platform with what Elofson called commercial intent. “They come, they get ideas, and they take action,” said Elofson. “They want to shop.”

Pinterest claims almost 11 million monthly unique visitors in Canada, and says it represents an opportunity for brands and businesses to connect with an engaged audience that tends to take action based on what they see on the platform. According to its data, 83% of weekly “Pinners” have made a purchase based on brand content they’ve encountered on the platform.

The company is continuing to focus its efforts around its shopping capabilities and its creators, said Elofson. “We really felt that Kristie’s background and breath of knowledge could really help us on the next phase of our journey.”

Pinterest has grown from just six employees to more than 100 since arriving in Canada, and is preparing to move into a new office in downtown Toronto in the third quarter.

Chris Powell