Cundari makes leadership changes in Montreal

The agency has restructured the team under a new GM and ECD, aimed at creating synergies with the Toronto office.
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Less than six months after promoting Malcolm McLean to president and chief strategy officer of the Cundari Group, the agency’s Montreal office has made a series of leadership changes.

Francois Vaillancourt has returned to agency as general manager and ECD in Montreal. He was previously a creative director with the agency, before leaving to serve in the same role at Innocean Worldwide Canada in January.

In addition, Éric Adechi has been named VP and group account director, while Mariam Saab has been made director of strategy. Adechi comes from DentsuBos, while Saab had previously spent three years on the strategy team in Cundari’s Toronto office before leaving for Publicis in 2018.

All three roles are new for the agency, according to McLean, and are intended to “reflect a more agile and efficient way of working, prioritizing the subject matter experts versus a larger, layered, more traditional approach.”

The agency says the new structure will create of number of “synergies” between the Montreal and Toronto offices, allowing Cundari to offer services that are better adapted to clients’ needs.

“There are practical synergies of course, but our priority is to foster more fluidity between our offices,” McLean says. “It’s thinking less about geography and focusing more on team-building and having the right talent and expertise on a particular project, regardless of where someone might be sitting.”

The Montreal office was previously led by VP of client services Nicolas Lefebvre, who has left the agency and is now working as a freelance consultant.

The latest changes follow the promotion of McLean from EVP of strategy to president overseeing operations across Toronto and Montreal in March, replacing outgoing president Jenn Steinmann, who had been with the agency for ten years. McLean continues to lead the agency’s strategic offering.

At the time of McLean’s promotion, Luke Moore took on additional responsibilities as EVP and general manager of operations and media, adding responsibilities for agency growth to his remit. He will continue to leader Cundari media nationally, working closely with Vaillancourt to beef up the offering in Quebec.