Suzanne Sauvage

Suzanne Sauvage, president, Cossette Communication Group, Toronto

Suzanne Sauvage, president, Cossette Communication Group, Toronto

Last year Suzanne Sauvage was promoted to president of Cossette Canada, the first woman to hold the position. Cossette is Canada’s largest ad agency op, with full regional representation across the country – 1,100 employees from coast to coast. Across Cossette, billings for 2005 totalled $685 million (includes international numbers from U.S., U.K. and Shanghai).

Sauvage took the top spot after running the Montreal office for three years, prior to which she was SVP, national client leader of the agency’s big Bell Canada account. It’s all part of a steady climb for the native Montrealer with the cosmopolitan background. She graduated with a B.A. in fine arts from the University of Montreal, studied in Madrid and Geneva, then did a one-year stint working with the Canadian International Development Agency in Niger. Returning to Canada, she began a 15 year-stretch at PR agency Burson-Marsteller, eventually becoming EVP of all of Europe, based in Paris. Sauvage is described as a strong and inspirational leader, and staffers peg her cosmopolitan attitude, diverse background as key to her openness to experimentation.

Beyond the boardroom:

* Her fine arts background lives: Sauvage sits on the board of the Fondation du Grand Montréal, the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal and the Centre international d’art contemporain, to name a few.