Marketing Magazine: Mindshare brings on former 360i managing director

Devon MacDonald assumes chief strategy officer role

By Jeff Fraser

Mindshare Canada has brought on a new chief strategy officer from the creative side of the ad business. Devon MacDonald joins the agency’s c-suite from 360i, the interactive agency that’s gained global acclaim for its work with Mondelez-owned snack brands.

Karen Nayler, CEO of Mindshare Canada, said though MacDonald hasn’t worked as a media planner before, he has a strong foundation in strategy that transcends the increasingly blurry media/creative divide.

She said the agency needed someone who went beyond just a good strategic planner and [MacDonald] “truly had a lot of curiosity and discipline that he could bring to basically everything that we do operationally, as well as delivering for clients on a day-to-day basis.”

MacDonald has been 360i’s Canadian managing director for the past two years, leading the launch of the agency in Canada and building up its Toronto presence. Before that he was VP of engagement planning at DentsuBos; he’s also worked at Proximity and Kenna.

Nayler described MacDonald as a “digital native” who would introduce a lot of new media savvy to Mindshare’s mix of traditional and digital planning.

“Where our clients are coming to us is helping them understand more about the consumer, and where are those points where we have permission to intersect with our brands,” said Nayler. “Having somebody who can cross those, who has grown up thinking about it from a client’s strategic standpoint … is kind of a perfect match for us, to help media people to broaden their purview.”

MacDonald will take over many of the duties of former president and chief strategy officer Jake Norman, who left the agency in May to join Facebook.

Mindshare also brought on Caroline Breton as managing director, client leadership for the agency’s Unilever account. Breton’s media planning career goes back two decades, with extended stints at Starcom MediaVest, UM Toronto and Marketel. Most recently, she was at Quebecor, as general sales manager, marketing and creative solutions.

“She’s seen the capabilities from the side of vendors and production,” said Nayler. “I think that’s an interesting perspective to bring back into the agency, to help our teams, but also show our clients what actually is possible and break down some barriers.”

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