Taxi names three new CCOs

As co-founder and creative head Paul Lavoie prepares for a new role, the agency looks within for new leadership.

Taxi has named its next generation of creative leadership, promoting three new CCOs as agency co-founder and previous CCO Paul Lavoie prepares to move into a new role.

Jordan Doucette, ECD at Taxi, and Jeff MacEachern, ECD at Taxi 2, have been promoted to co-CCOs of Taxi Canada, both of whom will be continue to be based in Toronto. Reid Miller, ECD at Taxi’s New York office, has been promoted to CCO of Taxi USA.

Lavoie, who co-founded the agency in 1992, will be moving on from his chairman and CCO role, becoming chairman emeritus of Taxi beginning in 2017. He will continue to “champion” the Taxi brand and advise CEO Rob Guénette on the ongoing development of the agency going forward.

“I’m very happy and confident to pass the creative baton on to Jordan, Jeff and Reid,” Lavoie said in a statement. “They are all talented creatives, true leaders, and combined, they will be a force to be reckoned with.”

Doucette rejoined Taxi last summer, having left the year prior to take the ECD role at Edelman Canada. She first joined Taxi as an ACD in 2006 and has also had stints at BBDO and Grey Canada.

MacEachern took on the ECD role at Taxi 2 in late 2012. Prior to joining Taxi as an ACD in 2007, he had worked at Grip, Bensimon Byrne and TBWA.

Miller has been ECD at Taxi’s New York office since 2013, joining after four years as group CD at Gotham. He’s also been on the creative teams at Hill Holliday, Lowe New York and BBDO.

Though there are plans to add new staff to the agency’s creative team, Rob Guenette, CEO of Taxi, says those won’t be new ECDs to fill the previous roles of Taxi’s new CCOs. Rather, he describes the new roles as “working CCOs,” with each one continuing to “lean in” to work for Taxi’s top clients – such as Kraft and Canadian Tire – while also coming together on things like resourcing and shaping the overall creative vision for Taxi across their given region.

“These are things that weren’t happening before because it was a little bit more jurisdictional in terms of their discreet departments,” Guenette says. “This is elevating them to a place where they are looking at the whole picture, as opposed to their specific offices. We’ve tried network-wide CCO jobs before and they haven’t worked out that well, so the first thing I decided was that they would be regional, with a CCO for the U.S. and for Canada.

“In the U.S., Reid was clearly the right choice, but looking at the situation in Canada, there are a lot of advantages to putting Jordan and Jeff together. One’s a writer, the other’s an art director. They both have roughly a decade of experience at Taxi with our top clients. They both have equal passion and interest in making sure we get the job done. And as working CCOs, they could continue to be really and deeply involved with our clients and the staff they already know.”

It’s been an active year for Taxi when it comes to the makeup of its leadership team.

Last week, Steph Santiago was named general manager of its Vancouver office, filling a role left vacant when previous GM Mike Leslie became president of Taxi’s operations in English Canada. In Quebec, Pascal De Decker, previously general manager and ECD of Taxi Montreal, become co-president alongside Jacques Labelle, who was previously president and CEO of Saint-Jacques Vallée Y&R, which was absorbed by Taxi (Y&R in English Canada was absorbed by Taxi last year). Haneen Davies became general manager at Taxi 2 following previous GM Daniel Shearer joining Cossette. Christine Maw was promoted to VP and head of strategic planning in Toronto, co-leading the department with Sean McDonald, VP and head of communications planning, following CSO Mark Tomblin’s departure for Juniper Park\TBWA. On the new business front, the agency won the creative review for Fido earlier this year.

“As Paul’s job changes, I wanted to make sure we had a new, focused and vibrant leadership in place to take us to the future,” Guenette says. “These are people who are on the ground and are deeply involved with our clients’ business, and most of those people have been here for a long time and share common values. Paul and I did it together and with [other Taxi co-founder] Jane Hope and with folks before that, we were all together a long time, so I’m trying to set up the next collection of like-minded, like-valued people to guide Taxi through the next steps.”