Dentsu Canada promotes Stephen Kiely to CEO

The company's creative lead is stepping into the top executive role as Jeff Greenspoon shifts focus to a global role.

StephenKielyDentsu Canada has named a new CEO, promoting Stephen Kiely to succeed Jeff Greenspoon in the role as the latter shifts his focus to the company’s global solutions teams.

Kiely has been with Dentsu in some capacity for nearly two decades since he graduated from university, starting in the media group before jumping into the creative side.

“I’ve worked with Dentsu for 18 years, but it feels like I’ve worked with six or seven different companies by way of different acquisitions,” he told strategy.

Most recently, he had been leading the company’s creative service line in Canada, overseeing agencies Dentsumcgarrybowen, Isobar, DentsuOne, Dentsu Studios, Antibody and ICUC. His new role brings Dentsu’s media agencies under his remit, including Carat, iProspect and Dentsu X, as well as CXM agency Merkle.

In his new role, he will look to “build integration across all of our service lines – media, CXM and creative,” he says. “The best ideas come from a spectrum of talent. Teaming people up in unexpected ways to get different results and have some fun is at the top of my list.”

Kiely will also look to carry forward Greenspoon’s “spirit of entrepreneurialism” in the role, he says, and will help guide the company through its next big challenge: navigating changes to the way work is done.

Through the pandemic, “humankind has come through some pretty incredible challenges,” Kiely says, citing specifically both the pandemic itself and a global reckoning with systemic racism. “People are feeling that, and connecting with our staff, we’ve heard it’s real. We’re also about to enter a whole new chapter with a hybrid work offering, and that’s more change for people. That’s not lost on me. Carrying our people through that, making sure they’re okay and setting them up for success is at the top of my mind.”

As Kiely transitions into his new role, he will also continue to lead the creative service line for Dentsu while successor candidates are considered.

Greenspoon, meanwhile, will have his remit expanded in Dentsu Group Inc.’s group solutions office. In 2021, Greenspoon expanded his duties at Dentsu to include a role as president, Solutions Americas, leading the network’s integrated strategy, client management and innovation groups. He will now been turning his focus fully to that in on top of additional duties that include scaling the agency’s integration strategy across the Dentsu network internationally, while focusing on building the connection between Dentsu International and Denstu Japan Network (DJN).