Desormiers returns to OMG, as Courtemanche pursues a ‘new adventure’

Just six months after retiring from a career spanning more than 37 years, Alain Desormiers is returning to Omnicom Media Group as interim CEO of Touché! and OMG Montreal. He is taking over the role previously held by Karine Courtemanche, who is leaving OMG after 20 years.

Alain Desormiers, Karine Courtemanche.

Reached by The Message on Wednesday morning, Courtemanche declined to elaborate on her departure, but said she plans to announce details of what she described as her “new adventure” as soon as next week.

“[I] have nothing but kind words for this incredible organization and its people,” she said of OMG.

Courtemanche joined Touché! as vice-president in 2003, and has been CEO of  PHD and Touché! Canada since 2020. In a release, OMG said that she played a key role in the company’s growth and its leadership position in the market, with a “strong, recognized and tightly knit” management team her greatest legacy.

“Karine has been a wonderful colleague and friend over the years,” said OMG Canada CEO Cam Reston. “I know she will be successful in all the future projects she takes on. We are lucky that Karine and Alain built such a strong team of leaders that are continuing to make the organization shine and maintain its reputation of excellence.”

Desormier will work alongside Samantha Kelley and Charles-Étienne Morier, who were named the respective presidents of Touché! Canada and OMG Montreal in April, with a shared goal of “creating growth, managing industry shifts and to ensure a smooth and successful transition,” said the release. Caroline Moul will continue to lead PHD Canada, reporting into Reston.

“I am back without hesitation,” said Desormiers in the release. “Samantha and Charles Étienne have been part of the dream team for the past 16 years and have been key players in creating the culture that continues to deliver such great work to our clients.”

Desormiers founded Touché in 1995, and sold the company to Omnicom in 2004, when it was rechristened Touché! PHD. Today it is among Canada’s best-known media networks, with more than 350 employees across offices in both Montreal and Toronto, and 37 clients including Canadian Tire Corporation, Volkswagen, HSBC, and Les Producteurs de lait du Québec.

Chris Powell