McCann West hires VP of strategy

Russ Rickey will lead strategic planning as the agency's Calgary office looks to give clients reach outside of Western Canada.

R Rickey BWMcCann hired Russ Rickey to lead its strategy department in Western Canada.

As VP of strategy, a new role at the agency, Rickey will lead strategic planning for the agency’s Western Canadian clients, which include Bayer CropScience and Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC), Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis’ Winner’s Edge loyalty program and Alberta New Home Warranty Program, of which the latter two are new clients.

Rickey will also sit on McCann’s pan-Canadian strategic planning council, which brings together strategists from across McCann’s offices to apply their knowledge to clients across Canada. Rickey will also contribute to Truth Central, the agency’s thought leadership hub, which develops local and global proprietary research, such as the “Truth About Shopping” report.

“As a leader in digital transformation, Russ brings a robust digital skill set and understanding of bringing cross-disciplinary skill sets together to solve complex business challenges. He’s also got some really interesting international client experience,” says Karen Pearce, president of McCann West.

Rickey joins McCann West from Critical Mass, where he spent the last decade providing leadership, strategic vision and digital marketing solutions for global brands such as AT&T, Clorox, Infiniti and Johnson & Johnson. He’s also a guest instructor at the University of Calgary, where he teaches topics related to marketing and entrepreneurship. For the past 16 years, he was a marketing consultant for the United Way of Calgary.

“He also places a strong value on integrating cross-disciplinary teams, including media, as McCann West has a fully integrated offering under one roof. His natural ambition and agnostic approach to bring the right thinkers to the table, no matter what ‘department,’ will result in the best solutions for our clients,” Pearce says.

Pearce says McCann West’s “local ambition” is to tap into the agency’s global market intelligence and combine it with McCann West’s local expertise to help clients market in other regions.

“Understanding the shifts in perceptions and macro trends that are shaping business around the world is essential in our own backyard more than ever, and we are laser-focused on working with our clients to constantly adjust,” she says.