Hires that make you go hmmm



Erminia Johannson is CIBC’s new SVP, customer marketing, retail markets. She will take charge of the bank’s marketing, brand evolution and customer analysis. She was previously SVP, consumer and small business cards management and has been with the bank for 10 years.

Anna Di Pede has joined The Brick as its VP, marketing and brand development. She comes at a time when the furniture retailer is enjoying the benefits of its ‘rebannering’ last January which involved rebranding some of its United Furniture stores to The Brick; the Home Show locations to The Brick Superstore; and the Sleep Better specialty mattress chain to The Brick Mattress Store. As a result, first quarter ’06 profits were up about 17.1% and same store sales up 8.5%.

Di Pede was previously SVP, marketing and brand development at Prime Restaurant Group, which owns restaurant chains including Casey’s and East Side Mario’s.


Lauren Richards has taken over as CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group Canada, and is intent on furthering SMG’s integration plans. ‘Integration is paramount for any successful company and innovation in media is definitely one of my big beliefs,’ says Richards. ‘I’m so glad we’re seeing media working with the creative and account people, fully at the table as part of the team.’ Richards was SVP/national media director of Cossette Media for 18 years until resigning last September. She succeeds Patrick Walshe.

Bill McMullen is replacing Ania Russocki as the president/CEO of Arnold Worldwide Canada. After less than a year in the top spot, Russocki has left to pursue other interests. McMullen, who was born in Vancouver, was most recently SVP/group account director, Arnold Worldwide, Boston, managing clients such as Volkswagen and Coors.

Taxi has hired industry vet John Berg to the new position of president of its NY office. Berg, a founder of Bulldog New York, was previously president of the New York offices of Euro RSCG and DDB Worldwide.

Consumer Impact Marketing, whose client list includes Starbucks, Pepsi-QTG and Kraft, has hired three former marketers to bulk up its retail division. Karen Poncelet, who was director customer marketing at Sobeys joins as director, new business development. Pascale Renaud who was category manager at Couche-Tard joins as regional manager, Eastern Canada and René Lacerte, who was at retailers Métro and Jean-Coutu, joins as national client manager.