EVP/ECD Smith Leaving Doner

By Patrick Coffee 


Today we learned that Justin Smith, EVP, ECD and Chief Innovation Officer at Detroit’s Doner, will be leaving the agency at the end of the month.

Smith, who specializes in film production, interactive advertising and software development, joined Doner in 2008 after selling his startup Frog Design and holding user experience/design and account management jobs at various agencies; his last pre-Doner position was VP of interactive media at San Francisco’s ATTIK. Over the past six-plus years, Smith has served as ECD and digital lead on campaigns for clients including Choice Hotels, UPS, and Mazda.


In early 2013, he transitioned to the newly created CIO role as Doner hired Brad Emmett of DeVito/Verde to serve as ECD/co-ECD on various accounts including JBL and Fiat, both of which launched new campaigns in late 2014.

In Smith’s absence, VP/CDs Mike Leslie and Jason Jakubiak will head the shop’s digital practice.

Memo from former CCO/current CEO Rob Strasberg, who left Crispin for Doner a few months before hiring Smith in 2008, below.

After 6 1/2 years at Doner, Executive Creative Director Justin Smith is leaving the agency for new creative opportunities.

We’ll miss Justin’s creative talents and passion for all things digital and Doner. Justin has helped evolve Doner’s digital practice and integrated efforts to be on par with the best agencies in the world.  He’s also helped us build a very focused and highly talented team, including Mike Leslie and Jason Jakubiak, who will now lead our digital creative practice.

David and I, along with Justin and the senior management team, have worked together the past few months to evolve the digital structure at Doner. We’re always tweaking what we do, how we do it and who we do it with to better serve our clients. Justin has been a great partner in this process and we’re excited by the progress we’ve made and the opportunities that lie ahead.

Justin’s last day will be Friday January 23rd. Please join us in wishing him the best.