Welcome to Mandrake
Consultant Profiles
Functional Practices:
Industry Practices:
Michael Gates
Vice President, Partner
Telephone: 416.922.5600  Ext: 260
Email: gates@mandrake.ca
Location: Toronto
About Michael

Michael has been with Mandrake since 1997 and became a partner in 2003. He now oversees a tremendous team that leads searches in the communications area including advertising, digital/online, direct and database marketing, promotions and events.  His team leads engagements for both client side and agency customers – they bring passion, great care and partnership to everyone they work with.

Michael’s consultative style and unrivalled knowledge in his industries has helped his customers successfully hire hundreds of talented people.  The majority of his work is in the advertising/marketing communications area, the digital/interactive field and in the direct marketing and database area.  These searches have been split almost equally between agency customers and client side organizations.  He has likely led more senior client service and strategic planning roles than anyone in Canada during his time here.  As well, he has successfully led senior manager, director and VP level engagements for customers in many industries including telecommunications, financial services, not for profit, media companies, quick service restaurants and retailers.

Michael takes deep pride in understanding his customers’ organization and culture to help them create a compelling talent proposition for the company and for each search.  He combines this with the commitment to helping the candidates strategically build their career to find the best matches.  Consequently his client and candidate referrals have helped him build a great team and practice.  Michael also advises his clients on organization structuring, competitive intelligence and has served on Marketing Magazine’s annual salary survey.  

Michael holds an HBA from the Ivy School of Business at Western.  Prior to joining Mandrake, he worked in the marketing field with American Sensors and Rubbermaid Canada.   His passions include travel and lakefront living with wife Ann and the rascally Tibetan Terrier Charli.  He is a lifelong golfer and a member at Rocky Crest and also a passionate skier likely to be found in the trees, steeps and back bowls.  


Advertising (Agency) Search Assignments:

  • Multiple VP and SVP level assignments for Canada’s leading advertising agencies
  • VP’s and Directors of Strategic Planning for the same companies
  • Account Directors in Consumer Goods, Retail, Financial Services, Telco and more


Digital/Interactive Searches Assignments:

  • Managing Director of US Digital Agency opening in Canada
  • Multiple Account Directors, VP’s and Digital Strategy roles for leading digital agencies
  • Client side engagements for Managers and Directors of Digital Marketing


Direct Marketing/CRM Search Assignments:

  • VP General Manager of a large Direct Marketing Agency
  • VP Direct Marketing, Directors and Managers for a leading Music Company
  • Director of Database Marketing and 20 staff, including analytics team for a Canadian Bank
  • Director Direct Marketing for a Mobile Phone company
  • Director of Direct Marketing and CRM Directors for Canada Post
  • Directors of Loyalty Marketing for the Canadian Not For Profits
  • Multiple VP’s and Account Directors for Canada’s leading Direct Marketing agencies
  • Directors and Senior managers for leading Credit Card, Telco, ISP, Energy and Financial Services companies


Marketing Communications Search Assignments:

  • VP Marketing and Communications for National Not for Profit Organization
  • VP & Directors of Marketing Communications for global quick service restaurant companies
  • Director of Marketing Communications for a leading Canadian University
  • AVP Marketing Communications for a Canadian Not for Profit Association
  • VP Marketing for a small Canadian telco player
  • Director of  Marketing Communications for 3 of the big 5 Canadian Banks
  • Director of Business Advertising for a Wireless Phone Company
  • Director of Communications for a national broadcaster
  • Director of Consumer Marketing for a telephone company
  • Director of Integrated Marketing for the LCBO
  • Executive Director of the Advertising Review Board – Government of Ontario


Talent Development / Consulting:

  • Annual panelist of Marketing Magazine’s Salary Survey
  • Coaching: career / resume development
  • Intelligence: marketplace benchmarking, organization structuring


"Stefan is not only an Executive Consultant with a track record of few hundred completed C-level searches, but the CEO of one of Canadian's best Executive Search and HR Consultancy firm. He is a strategic advisor to numerous senior level executives (Supervisory Boards and Board of Directors) as well as a coach and mentor to many professionals. His entrepreneurship experiences, abilities and achievements are both well recognized and appreciated by world's known YPO. He is a person one can trust, rely on, expect that he would deliver, enjoy his companion and sense a of humor, admire his wisdom and values, and respect him for what he stands for both as his family is concerned and the business he runs. What is quite unique about him is that being extremely blessed to be successful, he constantly remembers about those less fortunate and in need. He is an initiator of many undertakings to raise money, support and help others financially. One of the few ones that I would dream to work with if I had a chance to. Without any hesitation I would encourage any of my Clients to work with Stefan in Canada."
Daniel Lewczuk
CEO at Executive Network/IMD International Search
to download our brochure.
Download our Brochure