The&Partnership names new president and ECD

Former colleagues Christopher Andrews and Ron Smrczek will lead the agency's Canadian operations.
The&Partnership- Smrczek, Bailey and Andrews

From left to right: The&Partnership ECD Ron Smrczek, North American CEO Andrew Bailey and Canadian president Christoper Andrews.

The&Partnership has selected a leader for its Canadian operations, hiring Christopher Andrews as president, as well as a leader for its creative departments by hiring Ron Smrczek as ECD.

Andrews will lead the agency’s Canadian operations, covering its offices in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. He joins from Leo Burnett Chicago, where he spent almost three years as EVP and global account director for Coca-Cola, but also had a long stint with Taxi where he first worked with Smrczek, having been managing director at Taxi Amsterdam and working on the account teams at Taxi Toronto and Taxi 2.

Smrczek, who will be leading the agency’s creative departments across Canada, joins after two-and-a-half years at Zulu Alpha Kilo, where was was most recently one of the agency’s ECDs. He has also been a CD and ECD at Taxi’s offices in Toronto and Amsterdam. During his career, he has worked with clients including Canadian Tire, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Molson, Nike and Unilever.

Both are new roles in the agency’s Canadian operations and will report in to Andrew Bailey, North American CEO and partner for The&Partnership.

The&Partnership, a holding company that operates as a collaboration between agencies that are each focused on different disciplines, first made its intentions to expand into Canada known when it won the Telus account last year. The&Partnership is an independent company, though it has a minority stake from WPP.

“Because [Telus] effectively appointed the partnership team that pitched the business, we made a commitment, given the leap of faith Telus made in appointing us, that the partners that pitched the business would be the ones that on-boarded and worked on it,” Bailey says. “Now we’re at the point where we’ve on-boarded the business and put the broader team in place, so we’re ready to put a day-to-day leadership team in for the Canadian operation.”

Bailey says in addition to having a large part in the Telus business, both Andrews and Smrczek will be guiding and growing the agency’s Canadian operations going forward.

“Our first stop in this market is absolutely Telus, and they are and will continue to be a hugely important part of our story in Canada,” he says. “We hope to earn the right, based on our work for them and what they have to say about us, to help other clients do the same thing we’ve done with them.”

While Telus was one of Taxi’s major clients, Smrczek worked only briefly with the brand and Andrews didn’t work on the account at all during their respective tenures there, according to Bailey, and wasn’t a factor in their hiring.

“Taxi has been a great agency that’s produced amazing talent, so hiring [Andrews and Smrczek] had more to do with their overall capability, reputation and broader global experience in multiple categories,” he says.