Nikki Stone named Wavemaker Canada CEO

GroupM’s Wavemaker Canada has hired former Publicis executive Nikki Stone as CEO. Her appointment is effective Sept. 26.

GroupM Canada CEO Kevin Johnson said that Stone stood out as the leading candidate for the role because she demonstrated the “breadth of expertise” necessary to tackle the challenges faced by clients today.

“That expertise, coupled with her unwavering drive, track record for growth, and a human approach, positions her as the perfect leader for Wavemaker and its people in Canada,” said Johnson.

Stone has spent the past five years in a series of roles with Publicis, most recently as executive vice-president, managing director with its Zenith unit. Her career has also included stints with Active International, and the Expedia-owned vacation rental marketplace, CanadaStays.

“Wavemaker’s philosophy of reinventing media and creativity, positively proving growth for clients mirrors my personal passion and values,” said Stone. “The company’s views on diversity, equity, and inclusivity, as well as the importance they place on innovation, have been something I’ve long admired. So, when the opportunity arose to join a team that supported the values and goals I align with, it was an opportunity I needed to pursue.”

Stone succeeds Ryan Webber, who was appointed Wavemaker CEO in April 2022. According to his LinkedIn profile, Webber took a role as vice-president, sales and client success with Loblaw’s newly created retail media unit, Advance, in August.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nikki to the Wavemaker family,” said Wavemaker North America CEO Sharb Farjami in a release. “As we continue pursuing aggressive growth targets, Nikki’s blend of experience, vision, and energy will be invaluable. While she’ll focus on our Canadian operations, she will sit firmly as a part of our Wavemaker North America Leadership team.”

Stone will also serve on GroupM Canada executive committee, representing Wavemaker’s Canadian operations. The Wavemaker Canada leadership team is rounded out by CSO Andy Braunston; CFO Patrick Renard; VP of operations Cory Chisholm; VP of investment Chimi Nwagbara; VP marketing sciences Corissa Henry; and VP client leadership Alice DiGiovanni.

Chris Powell