Changes come to Cossette’s strategy department

The agency promotes a new VP of strategy as CSO Jason Chaney prepares to go client-side at Koho.

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Cossette’s chief strategy officer Jason Chaney is preparing to depart, with the agency adding a new VP to its strategy department while it looks for his replacement.

Chaney is leaving the agency to join fintech startup Koho, where he will be its CCO, effective Dec. 3. He will be working with Koho’s existing team to lead brand building and creative development as it brings its products to market.

Rosie Gentile, who was hired by Cossette at the beginning of 2017 as SVP strategy, one-to-one, will support the agency’s strategy team on an interim basis while a search for a new CSO takes place.

To add to its strategy leadership in the meantime, Kevin McHugh has been promoted to VP of strategy. McHugh joined Cossette in 2014 and has worked on its Destination Canada, Intact and General Mills accounts, among others. He joins existing VP of strategy Sarah Thompson, who was among a handful of new additions made to Cossette’s strategy team earlier this year.

Chaney joined Cossette as SVP of strategy and planning in 2014 and was promoted to CSO at the end of 2015. Before coming to Cossette, he had leadership roles in the strategy and planning departments at Lg2, DDB and Critical Mass.

“Leaving isn’t easy as I have made many lifelong friends in co-workers and clients alike, but I am leaving behind an incredibly talented group of people,” Chaney told strategy in an email. “Agencies are only as good as the people within the walls; the brains and the passion and the creativity of those people are the product. Cossette is great because the people are great.”

Chaney’s new employer, Koho, provides customers with a no-fee spending account that tracks their spending and helps them work towards their savings goals.

“I’m excited to join a incomparable team of leaders who have such a strong and purposeful vision of the world and who place such a high value on groundbreaking communications,” Chaney said. “That they would look to the advertising world for creative talent speaks volumes to the fact that they want to start from the beginning with a fresh perspective and a communications product that is as well constructed and powerful as the platform that they have developed. “