Woodward will be relocating from Paris to Tokyo to take up this newly created post. He will work closely with Richard McCabe, McCann Worldgroup Asia-Pacific's regional planning director, and Yasuyuki Katagi, president and CEO of McCann Worldgroup Japan.
McCann's office in Japan has managed to build its presence into one of Japan's top 10 agencies and has both media planning and buying capabilities.
"John is a highly experienced global strategist, with a deep knowledge of Asia, having lived and worked in the region for six years before his move to Paris," said Charles Cadell, president of McCann Worldgroup Asia-Pacific. "John will add enormous value to our business in Japan."
At Publicis Worldwide, Woodward headed planning on Samsung, Nescafe, AXA, Orange and UBS. Prior to joining Publicis, he was regional planning director at Leo Burnett Asia-Pacific, based out of Hong Kong, a role he held for six years.
According to Katagi, the addition of Woodward to the team in Japan will be a considerable asset thanks to his expertise with global clients, as well as local experience.
For his part, Woodward decided to join McCann due to its strong network growth, its depth of resources and its "vision for integration and creativity". These, he said, add up to a great opportunity for a CSO based out of "a country that has for so long been in the vanguard of new innovations."