LG2 seeking new creative leadership with departures of Kim and Hirsch

The Toronto office of LG2 is looking for new creative leadership after announcing the departure of Nellie Kim and Chris Hirsch on Wednesday.

The duo—who gained a reputation as one of Canada’s top young teams while at John St. during the agency’s late 2000s and early 2010s creative heyday—were the marquee hires by Quebec-based LG2 when it expanded into Toronto in 2014. Along with founding president Jeremy Gayton, they have led the office ever since, departing as partners, vice-presidents and executive creative directors.

While at LG2, the pair created work for clients including Under Armour, Casper, Domino’s, Rethink Breast Cancer, State Farm Insurance, Desjardins, Bell, Nike, Catelli, LCBO, and 13th Street Winery.

There were rumours that Kim and Hirsch had parted ways with LG2 in August, but the agency said at the time that was not that case and that the pair were on leave.

The release announcing their departure Wednesday said nothing about the reasons for the change.

“Nellie’s and Chris’s creativity and counsel have been instrumental in building LG2 into the national success it is today,” said Gayton in the release. “We deeply appreciate their contribution to the agency since we opened it together eight years ago.”

The agency said it is recruiting for new creative leadership, with Ryan Crouchman, partner, vice president and executive creative director, design, leading creative teams in Toronto in the interim.

“I know all of LG2 wishes Nellie and Chris the best in their next endeavours,” said Gayton. “We’re well-positioned to carry forward LG2’s mission to create progress, building on our history of success and innovation on behalf of our clients.”

The changes come a few months after Hirsch was appointed to the agency’s new-look board, which included directors from outside the agency (Kim had been on the board for two years before that). The new board was announced as part of a broader restructuring to adopt governance best practices.

The agency had been performing well and, with more than 500 staff, grown into one of the top agencies in Canada. But at the time, CEO Claude Auchu said he hoped to use the success of the Toronto office, which had reached about 70 employees, to grow across the country.

“LG2 can still be [better] known in the Anglophone market,” he said.

David Brown