Arnold Nabs Digital Talent From Modernista!

More noteworthy talent has left former Cadillac and Hummer agency Modernista!, including shop president Matt Howell and digital specialists Sebastian Gard and Bob Goodman.
Howell, 41, Gard, 43, and Goodman, 42, are joining the Boston headquarters of Arnold, where they’ll help lead the Havas shop’s digital practice. Howell becomes global chief digital officer and managing partner, reporting to global CEO Andrew Benett.
Gard and Goodman assume U.S. roles: director of social media and director of user experience, respectively. In addition, five other digital players are exiting Modernista! for Arnold, which brings the latter shop’s digital group to nearly 150—roughly twice as big as it was a year ago, according to Benett. Each new hire starts this week.
“Our goal is to focus on much more higher-end digital engagement and Matt and his team give us the ability and credibility to play in this space,” Benett said.
The exodus of the Modernista! eight comes three months after co-founder Lance Jensen left to become chief creative officer at Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston.
Modernista!’s past ascension stemmed largely from its relationship with General Motors, which began with the Hummer assignment in 2000 and expanded to include Cadillac in 2006. In 2009, however, GM moved to sell Hummer and reviewed its Cadillac business, which landed at Bartle Bogle Hegarty in early 2010, only to shift to Fallon a few months later.
Beyond the car brands, Howell, Gard and Goodman have worked on Sears and interactive promotional campaigns for Showtime’s Dexter.
Before Modernista!, Howell was a group director on Nike at R/GA. Earlier in their careers, Gard and Goodman both worked at Microsoft: Gard, as a digital marketing and social media manager for search, and Goodman as a product designer in the company’s startup labs.