M&C Saatchi has appointed Host production director Michael Cleary to creative services director, replacing Fiona Rooney who has departed the agency.

Cleary boasts more than 13 years as a top-flight creative services specialist in Australia and Canada.

Prior to joining Host in November 2007, he worked at TASK2, JWT, Wasserman + Partners in Vancouver, Canada, The Moult Agency and Whybin Lawrence TBWA.

Because M&C Saatchi has many of Australia’s largest, most iconic brands on its client roster the role of creative services director is a vital, highly demanding function within the agency.

M&C Saatchi executive creative director Ben Welsh said it was imperative to get a person with the necessary skills, temperament and experience to do the job performed so expertly by Fiona Rooney over 11 years.

“As one of the best in the business Michael is the perfect fit,” Welsh said.

“He has a thorough understanding of all creative and production processes, is a great team builder and leader and knows how to cater for clients big and small.

“We’re very excited he is joining us.”

Cleary is relishing the challenge.

“M&C Saatchi has one of the largest, most dynamic creative operations in the country and I can’t wait to test my mettle in that environment,” he said.

Cleary begins at M&C Saatchi on 2 May.