Josh Stein joins MacLaren McCann

The shop's new ECD, hailing from Tribal, will oversee the Toronto office's creative department.

Josh Stein

MacLaren McCann has added to its creative leadership in Toronto, hiring Josh Stein as its new executive creative director.

Stein, who will join the agency on May 2, will be responsible for overseeing MacLaren’s creative department in the Toronto office, working across clients and disciplines. He will report to Darren Clarke, MacLaren’s CCO.

“My job was to come in and get the departments in the four offices in Canada up and running, and Toronto being the biggest office of the four, I thought it was important to bring in someone like Josh to run things here,” Clarke told strategy. “I’ve known him for years. We shared a client in Canadian Tire when I was at Taxi. There’s no ego with him and it’s all about the creative product and doing the best work. With all his digital experience, he also looks at it through a different lens, which is a good complement for myself.”

Stein joins from Tribal Worldwide Canada’s Toronto office, where he’s led the creative department since 2013 as ECD, working with clients including General Mills, Adidas, McDonald’s, Canadian Tire, Johnson & Johnson and Mondelez. Prior to that, he spent three years as a creative director at BBDO, and has also had stints at Bos (now DentsuBos) and Cossette’s former digital arm, Fjord Interactive.

In a statement, Tribal Worldwide Canada said it parted ways with Stein on Monday as part of an ongoing growth plan and evolution of its collaborative structure. The agency wished Stein the best in his future endeavours and said it would be pulling from its creative bench strength to lead its creative department in Toronto while it evaluates a succession plan.

In Vancouver, MacLaren hired creative director Heather Thrash in September to lead the creative department there and fill the void left by the departure of Hagan Ainsworth, though Thrash has since left for a position at Lululemon. Clarke says the search for a new creative head in Vancouver is ongoing.

In February, MacLaren added seven new staff members, including a senior art director and a creative team that will now be working under Stein, as well as a pair of CDs in September. Outside of creative, MacLaren hired Matt Lewis in January to lead experience and consumer engagement division MacLaren Momentum.