Canvas Names Its First CEO, an Industry Vet Known for ‘Creativity and Invention’

Paul Woolmington takes the lead

Industry veteran Paul Woolmington has been named the first chief executive officer at Canvas Worldwide.

Canvas was formed last summer by independent Horizon Media and Hyundai-backed Innocean Worldwide to handle media duties for the carmaker's U.S. brands, Kia and Hyundai, which spend $700 million combined on domestic ads annually.

Woolmington starts Jan. 18 and will work out of Canvas' offices in New York and Los Angeles. He is a well-known agency leader and entrepreneur, having launched two notable ventures: Naked Communications and The Media Kitchen. Earlier in his career, he had a hand in growing Young & Rubicam's media organization and The Media Edge (now MEC).

Woolmington, who most recently served as an adviser, investor and board director for various companies, is regarded as a forward-thinking communications executive with solid managerial chops.

Horizon and Innocean leadership said they tapped him for Canvas based on his commitment to creativity and invention. Horizon CEO Bill Koenigsberg noted that Woolmington "has disrupted and redefined traditional communication and media models," and he praised the exec as "a pioneer with a global perspective."

"We have a true opportunity to envision a modern perspective on what clients need today," Woolmington said.

Canvas looks to employ about 200 people this year and also has offices in Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta.