Dentsu promotes Kiely as Greenspoon takes on global role

With former chief executive Jeff Greenspoon taking on expanded responsibilities for Dentsu internationally, Stephen Kiely has been promoted to Dentsu Canada CEO.

Kiely has spent his entire 18-year career at Dentsu, originally joining its media group before moving onto the creative side of the business. In 2016 he was named president and CEO of DentsuBos, which was renamed dentsumcgarrybowen in mid 2020, and was most recently chair of Dentsu’s entire creative group, which includes dentsumcgarrybowen, Isobar and DentsuOne (formerly Grip).

For now, Kiely said he will be “double-hatting,” retaining his role overseeing dentsumcgarrybowen and the rest of Dentsu’s creative services as they consider what, if any, other executive shuffles are needed. “I’m taking this as an opportunity to sort of step back and reimagine what the structure can look like,” he said. “What was doesn’t necessarily mean what is.”

The recent focus at Dentsu has been bringing the three service lines of creative, media and CXM closer together to provide better integrated solutions for clients, said Kiely. “Top of my list is really delivering against that promise of being the most integrated network in the world,” he said.

“When you pair up teams in unexpected ways—a data scientist, media planner, creative strategist—and you get them all together, the distinct points of view that come out at the table… allows the team to dream differently, and take different solutions forward to clients.”

“Stephen has been a celebrated leader, trusted advisor and radical collaborator at Dentsu for the last 18 years,” said Dentsu Americas CEO Jacki Kelly in a release. “Stephen believes that a strong team and an even stronger culture are what drive success in our business. He is the definition of a people-first leader.”

Greenspoon, meanwhile, continues his steady rise up the ranks at Dentsu since joining the Japanese holding company in 2014.

Last year, he was given the title president, solutions Americas, a role that entailed integrating strategy, client management and innovation across the region. That job has now expanded to Dentsu Group Inc. internationally where, according to the release, he “will help operationalize and scale our integrated network strategy globally and unlock group level capabilities around key industry verticals.”

Greenspoon joined Dentsu when Spoke, the digital creative agency he co-founded with Kai Exos in 2009, was acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network, and folded into Isobar, with Greenspoon named CEO. After five years in that position, he was promoted to president and chief product officer for Dentsu in 2019, and then CEO in February 2020.

David Brown