Who Does What Now—Week of May 9

New hires — Blackjet

Toronto’s Blackjet has hired former FCB Canada president Paul Mead (left) as chief growth officer to manage its continued expansion. Mead had been assisting Blackjet CEO Rob Galletta with strategic planning and reporting for two years prior to his appointment.

“Above all Paul is a business leader,” said Galletta. “He’s helped shape our vision for Blackjet as a business, so I’m very pleased he’s agreed to join us on a formal basis.”

Mead spent 10 years as chief operating officer at JWT Canada before joining FCB Canada as president. He subsequently assumed the role of president and CEO of FCB Europe.

New Business—Banfield

Following a competitive review, Ottawa agency Banfield has defended its agency of record assignment with the Government of Canada’s Communications Security Establishment’s Get Cyber Safe campaign, which seeks to educate and raise awareness of the importance of cyber security.

“Get Cyber Safe is an important client for us,” said Banfield president and creative director Timothy Jones. “With GCS, we’ve had the chance to collaborate on fun, engaging, and unconventional creative with an important goal — to help Canadians protect themselves online.”

New Hires—Performance Art

Interpublic Group’s data-driven creative agency Performance Art has made a series of hires across its Toronto and New York offices to support growing relationships with founding clients including BMW, CIBC and Kijiji, plus new assignments with Lyft, Veterans United Bank, and Clutch.ca.

The new hires include the appointment of Jess Willis as group creative director in Toronto, charged with driving creativity, growth and cross-functional collaboration for the agency’s Canadian clients. Willis brings nearly 20 years of experience to the role, having most recently worked as creative director at John St., leading the KFC, Tangerine and No Frills accounts. 

“Jess has a unique ability to balance high-creative with high-performance, and traditional with digital,” said Performance Art’s chief creative officer, Ian Mackenzie. “She’s a talented, versatile and forward-thinking creative.”

Paul Fung also joins the New York office as CD from RPA, while the agency has promoted Benson Ngo, a key contributor to the agency’s “Black Elevation Map” for client Black & Abroad, to CD.

New Hires—Sephora

Sephora Canada has named Allison Litzinger senior vice-president of marketing, replacing Deborah Neff, who led the beauty retailer’s marketing for five years. Litzinger will oversee the brand’s Canadian marketing team, reporting directly to SVP and general manager, Gregory Bruyer.

Litzinger joins from Hudson’s Bay Company, where she spent three-and-a-half years as VP of marketing, brand, customer and loyalty. She is an experienced brand builder and marketer within both the packaged goods and retail industries, and her work has been recognized by both domestic and international awards shows.

“Sephora has been disrupting the retail and beauty industries with its strong foundational purpose, best-in-class customer experience, and loyalty program,” said Litzinger. “I’m thrilled to be joining this values driven global brand, and to lead the marketing team into a new era of omni-channel retail growth in Canada.”

New Hires—123w

One Twenty Three West has added to its staff in both Vancouver and Toronto, where 10 new hires have pushed its total headcount to 18, and 60 in total across both offices.

Creative director/art director Steven Kim arrives from Giants and Gentlemen, while Allan Topol joins as CD and copywriter from Rethink Toronto.

The creative team of Jesse Wilks and Gerardo Agbuya has also joined the Toronto office as ACDs following a stint with San Francisco-based social agency MUH-TAY-ZIK/HOF-FER. The two were previously at John St. where they worked with 123w partner Mooren (Mo) Bofill. Also joining from John St. are the senior creative team of Troy Geoghegan and Kyle Waye.

Justin Close has also joined the agency as CD, digital design from Fjord, where he was digital design manager. And junior copywriter Bethany Garrard arrives from Momentum, joining her new partner Katy van Nostrand, who is taking her first role out of Miami Ad School.

The agency has also bolstered its strategic strength, including hiring strategist Colin Carroll as group strategy director. Carroll is another former John St. alum.

And in Vancouver, strategist Jared Gill has joined from Cossette Vancouver, while Aliya Tarmo, whose background includes account service and production, has also joined the Vancouver account team to work on various accounts.

Chris Powell