DDB names new leader in Montreal

Jean-Francois Mallette joins as managing director, with a goal of bringing more collaboration to the shop.

DDB has hired a new leader for its Montreal office, bringing on Jean-Francois Mallette as managing director.

Mallette fills a role previously held by Monique Brosseau, who left the agency in the summer.

Mallette has spent the last eight years at Cundari’s Montreal office, first as director of client services and later as managing director. Last week, Cundari announced it had hired Nicolas Lefebvre as VP of client services in Montreal, taking over leadership of the office from Mallette.

Over the course of his career, Mallette has worked with clients including BMW, Clémentines Maroc, CIBC, Subway, Sobeys and Bacardi.

He will now will co-lead the office with creative director Etienne Bastien. DDB Montreal works on a number of accounts, including McDonald’s Canada and Investors Group, but given his background with automotive clients, Mallette says he is particularly eager to begin work with Volkswagen Canada. “They have had their struggles, so the focus is to listen to those clients, listen those challenges and help them address them,” Mallette says.

One of those opportunities that Mallette is planning to work on – first with Volkswagen and then with other clients – is taking more of what he calls an “innovation hub” approach to its work, or a more collaboration. For example, while at Cundari, Mallette helped spearhead such an approach with its Fix Auto work, where everyone involved in the marketing comes together at the outset to discuss the insights and ensuing plan. That includes the marketing clients, representatives of the retailer group, the digital, social, creative, strategy and account teams at the agency, along with staff from the PR and media sides.

“When we did it for Fix Auto, we went into a hotel conference room with close to 30 people,” Mallette says. “Instead of being siloed, we’re all collaborating from the very beginning. We’re eager to begin doing this with Volkswagen, and then bring it to our work with other clients as well.”