BBDO Canada names Christopher Andrews president and CEO

The current president of The&Partnership will take over for a retiring Dom Caruso this summer.

Christopher Andrews has been named the next president and CEO of BBDO Canada as Dom Caruso prepares to retire.

Andrews, currently president of The&Partnership, will take on the role effective June 15, though Caruso will be staying on until July to ensure a smooth transition.

Caruso has been working on building a succession plan with St. John Walshe, BBDO’s CEO of The Americas, since deciding to retire last July. The criteria Caruso established for his successor were someone with a track record working in a strong creative environment; someone who was going to bring additional knowledge and experience to help evolve the agency; and, someone who is a respectful leader.

Caruso says Andrews “checked all the boxes,” adding that The&Partnership has demonstrated “a great record of growth,” since launching in Canada in 2014. Caruso notes how growth is going to be harder to come by in the future than it has been in the past, due to the changes that are going in the ad industry – even pre-COVID-19, he says.

“The fact that Chris has also demonstrated a track record of revenue growth and winning new business is also a really important thing – because that’s going to matter more and more,” Caruso says. In December, it was announced that The&Partnership would lead marketing and communications’ assignment for Canada Post – constructing a dedicated team with other agencies to service the account, as it has done for founding client Telus and other new wins, like Toyota.

Prior to joining The&Partnership in 2015, Andrews spent roughly 10 years with Taxi, where his tasks ranged from launching Taxi 2 to running the Amsterdam office and leading pan-European businesses for clients including Unilever and Heineken. In 2012, he moved to Leo Burnett’s global headquarters in Chicago to lead the agency’s global Coca-Cola work.

Andrew Bailey, partner and CEO at The&Partnership, says the agency’s partners and senior leaders will be splitting Andrews’ duties during the search for his successor, and intends to take its time to “ensure we have the right leader” for the long term.

Caruso says BBDO Canada has experienced eight layoffs at the agency due to the economic impact of COVID-19, which happened two weeks ago. “We tried to do everything we could to minimize the impact on our people and best protect our people,” he says. Caruso adds the agency is also looking to cut costs by not entering any more award shows this year and potentially cutting back on its real estate.

BBDO Canada is also currently on the hunt for new creative leadership after co-CCOs Denise Rossetto and Todd Mackie left the agency to help co-found a new agency called Broken Heart Love Affair.