Horizon and Innocean have tapped adland vet Paul Woolmington to run their joint venture, Canvas Worldwide.
Independent media agency giant Horizon in August partnered up with Hyundai-backed agency group Innocean in August to create the standalone media agency. Canvas' first client would be the nearly $700 million U.S. media business for Hyundai Motor Group's U.S. brands, including both Kia Motors America and Hyundai Motor America, the companies said at the time.
Now, Mr. Woolmington, known for building agency businesses including Naked and The Media Kitchen, will oversee the growth of the new shop as CEO.
"I have known Paul for many years and have tremendous respect for his leadership," Horizon Founder and CEO Bill Koenigsberg said in a statement. "Paul has launched two successful media and communications companies and has disrupted and redefined traditional communication and media models in the process. He is a skilled inventor and entrepreneur, and a proven advertising innovation pioneer with a global perspective. We have a white canvas to invent, create, grow and transform the industry in the process, and I look forward to Paul creating a masterpiece with Canvas Worldwide."
Mr. Woolmington in 2006 opened Naked's New York office as founding partner of Naked Communications Americas. After six years in the role, he left the communications-planning agency to start a consultancy and serve in his most recent role as an advisor to marketing and media clients.
He was also behind the creation of MDC's The Media Kitchen, and he played a role in the global rollout of WPP's Young & Rubican media operations, as well as The Media Edge (now MEC).
With Canvas, Mr. Woolmington's challenge will be setting it apart from every other media shop. "Canvas Worldwide will not be doing what everyone else has been doing for the past decade," he said in an email. "I want to challenge the status quo in the marketplace, provide a modern perspective on what clients need today, and to reimagine what's possible."
How exactly he'll "reimagine what's possible" is not yet clear. But for now, he'll focus on three goals: "Making 2016 an exceptional year for Hyundai/Kia; educating the market about our offering; and growing the Canvas Worldwide business portfolio."