Innocean Names 2 GCDs to Lead Creative Department in Eric Springer’s Absence

By Patrick Coffee 

As our readers know, Hyundai’s Innocean has made moves to address the lawsuit filed against the agency and its chief creative officer Eric Springer since Adweek first broke the news last week.

On Friday, we reported that the office held an all-staff meeting to discuss the matter, allegedly averting a threatened walkout by an unspecified number of employees who were unhappy with the way management had dealt with the situation.

Monday, the agency’s representatives officially confirmed that Springer had been placed on leave pending the results of an investigation that reportedly involves an unnamed third-party consultant.


According to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter, leadership held another all-staff meeting at the end of the day Monday to discuss the news:

  • First, CEO Steve Jun talked about Springer’s absence and Innocean’s decision to hire The 3% Conference to undergo that organization’s certification process.
  • VP of creative resources Jill Pool then announced that Bob Rayburn and Barney Goldberg would take over leadership on the Genesis and Hyundai corporate business, respectively, in Springer’s absence.
  • SVP of business development Angela Zepeda later told employees that “big changes for women in the agency are on the way,” referring to 3% and other unspecified efforts.
  • Jun reportedly ended the meeting with a statement about making Innocean a “safe space” and protecting both the agency and its leadership.

We reached out to 3% founder Kat Gordon, who provided the following statement:

“3% is thrilled to have Innocean as the latest agency to undergo our certification process. While 3% Certified highlights leadership among those who pass, it’s also a deeply powerful and diagnostic inquiry for any agency that wants to do better. We believe that real change only happens when agencies do the hard work of a deep assessment of their entire culture and has a customized action plan to create a workplace where everyone feels treasured, not tolerated. 3% Certification is exactly that.”

Current employees tell us that some of their concerns have yet to be addressed. Specifically, they do not understand why they were not made aware of the suit before the news broke and why the company launched an investigation after its law firm filed a response arguing that Guenier did not prove her claims.

More than 24 hours ago, we reached out to Innocean’s representatives with specific questions about the meeting, the new roles for Rayburn and Goldberg, the comments allegedly made by Jun, Pool and Zepeda, and employees’ speculation on the other matters mentioned above. We also reached out to Rayburn and Goldberg for comment on their new roles and to Sete regarding her alleged departure.

None of the parties have responded to those messages, but we will update this story if and when they do.

In further news, public documents also reveal a second harassment suit filed by a Catherine A. Bennett last fall that named Innocean as a defendant.