ZAK changes up its creative leadership

Zulu Alpha Kilo has made changes to its creative leadership, with the promotions of Stephanie Yung to chief design officer and Brian Murray to chief creative officer.

The agency had also intended to promote Wain Choi to chief creative officer, but Choi has instead decided to leave the agency world. After starting his career in Toronto, Choi spent more than 15 years abroad, including a stint as global chief creative officer for Cheil Worldwide in Seoul.

He returned to Canada in early 2020, joining ZAK as executive creative director, overseeing campaigns for the likes of Subaru, Bell, Interac, and Harry Rosen. He’ll leave the agency at the end of March.

“Wain has been an incredible creative partner over the past three years,” said agency founder Zak Mroueh in a release announcing the changes. “His track record for doing smart, innovative work with craft excellence has been impressive, and we’re going to miss him.”

Along with the promotions of Yung and Murray, Mroueh will move from CCO to creative chair to work on creative across the agency’s three offices. He has also begun a search for a third chief creative to replace Choi and round out the new three-person leadership team.

“My focus in the year ahead will be to mentor and support all our creative leaders and inspire creative bravery across the entire Zulu family,” he said. To do that, he’ll be spending less time on day-to-day management of the agency, passing those responsibilities to his new creative leadership team.

“Steph and Brian have earned their stripes at Zulu…They’re exceptional creative leaders and have earned the respect and trust of our clients and our team,” said Mroueh.

Yung joined ZAK in 2020 after an extended period working internationally, including 10 years at New York design and innovation firm Smart Design. Since joining ZAK, she has pushed design at the agency beyond branding and graphic design to brand experience, products and services, playing a lead role on the much-awarded “Micropedia for Microaggressions.”

Murray, meanwhile, joined in 2021 from Ogilvy, where he won two Grand Prix’s in Cannes for Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful.”

The agency has grown to about 150 full-time staff after first opening in Vancouver one year ago. Later in the summer it expanded to New York, which is currently working on ZAK’s first Super Bowl spot for

David Brown