Leo Burnett Canada president and CEO David Moore is leaving the agency effective March 1.
Chief creative officer Judy John, who has been with the agency since 1999, will become the CEO and “ultimate authority” of the agency.
Dom Caruso, formerly CEO at BBDO Canada, has been hired as president and COO. He officially starts at Leo Burnett Feb. 1.
“We’re splitting the president and CEO roles,” said Moore. “Dom will fill the competencies that I brought to the party, but Judy will be the ultimate authority and leader of the agency.”
John will retain her CCO title as well and continue to work with creative partner Lisa Greenberg.
“I love being the chief creative, it’s why I got into the business,” John said. “I love the work. I’m going to continue to stay close to the accounts that I run. The CEO role will put me more in touch with how we’re doing financially and overseeing the agency.”
Moore has been with Leo Burnett since 1987 when he worked on its 7Up account. From there he moved within the agency’s network to manage its Procter & Gamble business including stints in Chicago and Mexico City, but returned to Toronto as executive vice-president, group account director in 1999. He was made Canadian president and CEO in 2004.
Moore said his departure is “a life decision more than anything. I figure I’ve got the best job in the country. I love this place. I’d never go to another agency.”
He also said he was offered other roles in the network but turned those offers down.
“There are a whole bunch of things I’m looking at. None of them are related to the industry. They’re business ventures and projects.”
Caruso, who left BBDO in September, said it was a working relationship with John that drew him to the Publicis-owned Leo Burnett.
“Once I got made a free agent, I was able to step back and rethink all my priorities,” Caruso said.
“It really came down to being Judy’s partner. She and David had a very successful partnership for many years, which I knew a lot about. I just had a really good feeling about Judy and I working together at a place with a strong culture like Leo.”
Moore said he and John considered Caruso for the position even before he left BBDO, and his “free agent” status was just a lucky stroke.
“He was really the only one we talked to,” Moore said.