Hires that make you go hmmm…



Fred Schaeffer, former president of Kraft Canada, is the new president/CEO of New Brunswick-based McCain Foods (Canada). The french fry giant continues to soar with plans to open a factory in India.

Meanwhile, Kraft Canada has found a replacement for Schaeffer: Dino Bianco, who has held several senior posts at the company including a sales and marketing post, is the new SVP/GM. Kraft recently announced about 600 jobs will be cut across North America (250 in marketing) following a move to streamline the packaged goods company’s operations.

Lise Monette is Montreal-based law firm Ogilvy Renault’s new – and first – CMO. Monette will oversee all areas of marketing for the firm which has offices across the country. Monette hails from law firm McCarthy Tétrault.

Calgary’s Forzani Group, behind the Sport Chek, Sport Mart and Coast Mountain Sports chain of stores, has promoted Naomi Merkley to marketing manager from marketing coordinator. Chris Huk, who last worked as an account executive at marcus evans, which provides strategic advice to companies around the world, has taken over Merkley’s coordinator role. Lorissa Dong, who worked with Ducks Unlimited, has been hired as promotions and sponsorships manager. Dong says the next big push for the company will be a revitalization of the Sport Mart brand early next year.


Vancouver-based Grey Worldwide Northwest has a new VP/CD in Craig Redmond. He replaces Marc Stoiber.

John st. will add two hires on the account side, following its win of the Maple Leaf Foods biz. Prez Arthur Fleischmann says recent hires AD Nellie Kim from Grip and writer Chris Hirsch from Publicis will help the agency ramp up creatively. New work is expected about mid 2006, he says. Staff now numbers 45.

BBDO may just continue its winning ways next year with the hire of Andy McKay as SVP, head of art at its Toronto shop. He joins in February and will team with SVP/ deputy CD Ian MacKellar to work on Pepsi and Chrysler, among others. McKay comes from sister agency AMW/BBDO in London. He recently picked up a couple of Silver Lions for Yellow Pages and Road Safety.

New Toronto-based experiential marketing agency Decibel has hired Kevin Foster as director brand experiences. He was previously national brand solutions manager for Labatt’s Budweiser. Since it opened in June, the agency has already landed Coke, Five Alive, Samsung, Disney and Visa as clients. ‘Most promotions involve entertainment, sport, media or event marketing,’ says Bruce Barrow, VP. ‘That’s the area we focus on.’

Publicis Toronto is shopping for a hit with its new retail marketing division, Intersect, which will focus on offering its clients – mainly its recent win, Rogers – a deeper understanding of consumer buying habits. Carolyn Higgs has been hired as its GM. She has over 25 years working on both the client and agency side for such clients as Nissan, GM and Rogers Wireless. Prior to Publicis, she was an account director at MacLaren McCann on the Rogers account. Higgs says it’s important that a brand’s touch points all have a consistent message. Intersect will work with Rogers to better that synergy so that the ‘experience is completed by the time they get to the cash register.’