Forsman & Bodenfors names CEO

Melanie Johnston has been hired from DDB to lead the newly merged agency's Canadian operations.

Melanie.jpg copy

Days after announcing its merger with KBS, Forsman & Bodenfors has hired Melanie Johnston as CEO for its Canadian operations.

Johnston joins the agency on Oct. 8 after 18 years with DDB Canada, having been named managing director of the Toronto office in 2010 and president in 2015.

The newly christened Forsman & Bodenfors has been without a CEO since the beginning of the year when Nick Dean left the agency to become CEO of licensed cannabis producer Emblem. Johnston will lead the shop’s Toronto office, but her responsibilities also include operations in Montreal. She will also work with national CCO Matt Hassell to finalize the agency’s rebranding and continue to evolve its offering in both offices.

In addition to the “impressive” results Johnston has contributed throughout her career – DDB and its digital agency Tribal have won 15 Agency of the Year and Digital AOY titles during her tenure – she also has a “collaborative” leadership style that fits well with the agency’s approach, said Hassell in a press release. Forsman & Bodenfors, founded and based in Sweden, is known for its collaborative culture and flat internal creative structure, one that it intends to bring to its other offices post-merger.

At DDB, the agency has promoted Jacqui Faclier to managing director in Toronto. Faclier first joined DDB’s account team in 2004 and was named client service director in 2015, adding SVP to her title in March.

In a release, Lance Saunders, COO of DDB Canada, thanked Johnston for the “indelible mark” she is leaving on the agency, while noting that Faclier’s promotion is part of a succession plan based on cultivating talent and growth from within.