Rethink hires Aaron Starkman as partner and CD

The agency's new stakeholder, who will be based out of its Toronto office, talks to strategy about his big move.

Rethink has brought on Aaron Starkman as its newest CD and partner, giving him a stake in the company. He will be based out of the Toronto office, joining existing Toronto CDs Dre Labre and Chris Booth.

Officially starting his new gig Thursday, the timing around Starkman joining Rethink is particularly fortuitous for the agency given its recent appointment as the new AOR for Molson Canada. The account was previously held by CP+B Canada, Starkman’s former agency where he served for nine years, most recently as its executive creative director, and his wealth of experience on the big beer brand will certainly prove to be an asset for Rethink.

Beyond his beer brand expertise, Starkman also carries with him a much-awarded portfolio (in 2008 he became the first creative in the world to have won Cannes Gold Lions in film, radio and media and he’s hauled in the most Gold Lions of any Canadian creative) of work for other big companies, including Unilever, Corus Entertainment and Ikea, that made his hiring a no-brainer says Chris Staples, partner, co-CD, Rethink.

“We have a rule: if somebody great becomes available, hire them,” says Staples. “He brings an incredible track record working with really big brands in some tough categories and doing breakthrough work. The nice thing about Aaron is that he comes from the culture of Zig (now CP+B Canada), which is a very similar culture to what Rethink is now.”

“It’s just a great vibe here, it’s an incredibly exciting time in the company’s history and I’m so stoked to be a part of it,” says Starkman. “It’s all about the work and that’s how we’re going to build our brand, through really amazing creative. It’s funny, the only thing I’ve ever owned is a baseball collection, so this is something that feels special. I’m going to fight like hell for this place and do my best to help Rethink continue to do consistently breakthrough creative.”