Helen Galanis to head Initiative

The former Rogers executive takes over as president of the agency, following the folding of m2 into the company.

The hunt for a new leader at Initiative is over, with the announcement that Helen Galanis will take over as its president.

The news follows the company’s December announcement that the Interpublic Group’s media agency, m2 had been folded into Initiative. The new alignment formally took place on Jan. 4. 

Galanis comes to Initiative from Rogers Media, where she was director of brand media planning where she implemented an in-house buying team. She will sit on the senior leadership team at IPG and report to Harvey Carroll, CEO Canada at IPG Mediabrands. 

Helen GalanisCarroll says Galanis will not only be able to drive Initiative’s growth, she also brings valuable client perspective to the table.

Galanis was previously at UM where she worked on marketing planning for a wide range of brands including Listerine, Tylenol and Aveeno.

The hire follows a changeover at Initiative, which was under Adam Luck’s leadership until now. Luck joined as president in March 2014 and moved into the role of head of digital growth and innovation at IPG Mediabrands.

m2 was folded into Initiative to strengthen the overall company’s offering to its clients, according to Harvey Carroll, CEO Canada at IPG Mediabrands, which is m2 and Initiative’s parent company. 

The decision to merge was a restructuring aimed not at downsizing but rather at growing Initiative in Canada so that the agency can participate more fully in global RFPs, Carroll told MiC. Globally, Initiative has 94 offices and $14 billion in annual billings.