Jordan Doucette departs Leo Burnett, returns to Canada

Jordan Doucette
Jordan Doucette

Executive musical chairs in Chicago continues. Ad Age, which obtained an internal memo from Andrew Swinand, Leo Burnett North American CEO and chief executive of Publicis Communications Center, has reported that Leo Burnett Chicago Chief Creative Officer Jordan Doucette will be leaving the agency to head back home to Canada.

“After much discussion and a lot of soul searching on her part, Jordan Doucette has decided to return home to Canada with her family,” Swinand said in the memo. “While we’re very sorry to see Jordan leave us, we respect her decision.”

According to the memo,  Doucette will be joining “boutique” shop No Fixed Address in Toronto. Swinand said this had been an ongoing discussion, “we’ve been able to jump start our search for her replacement. We’re excited by many of the prospects and look forward to sharing news soon.”

Swinand added that Leo Burnett Global Chief Creative Officer and Publicis Communications North America Chief Creative Liz Taylor “has been stepping up in a meaningful way in Chicago” and he will work with her on “ensuring a smooth transition and continued support and cohesion across the creative department.”

“The chance to join a team and help shape the future of an agency that has already grown so dramatically over the last three years is an incredible opportunity,” Doucette said in a statement. “And we’re already starting with the shared value that putting people and culture first is the foundation of doing great work. And, of course, the fact that NFA is independent truly means our only limitation is our ambition.”

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The Latest in Executive Musical Chairs

Doucette’s departure is the latest in a recent string of senior exits at the Publicis shop. Burnett has said goodbye to Nick Law, Lisa Donohue, Fura Johannesdottir, Sandra Sims-Williams, Emma Montgomery, Britt Nolan).

The agency has also brought in a slew of new hires, including Kaylin Goldstein exec VP and strategy director; Adriano Matos, executive creative director; Matt Marcus, chief experience officer; and most recently, Mike Davidson, head of production.

However, there seems to be an alarmingly high increase of executive turnover in Chicago.  Just last Tuesday, DDB Chicago Chief Creative Officer John Maxham announced he was leaving for independent agency Laughlin Constable. Before that, Tonise Paul, a fixture at the top of Chicago-based Energy BBDO for 24 years, stepped down from the president-CEO role. Andrés Ordóñez, former chief creative at Energy BBDO, also left to take the same job at FCB Chicago.

Meanwhile, FCB Chicago President-CEO Michael Fassnacht stepped down at the end of 2019, amid a broader North American restructuring of the Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned shop.