Jay Joyer: 40 Under 40 2013

EVP, Zeno Group Santa Monica

Driven by ambition, Jay Joyer has helped fuel Kia Motors’ transformation into one of the fastest-growing automotive brands in the US. With his previous experience working on Mitsubishi Motors and General Motors accounts at MSLGroup – then known as Manning Selvage & Lee – and with Lincoln-Mercury and Ford at Burson- Marsteller, Joyer was the PR professional Zeno Group Santa Monica wanted when the agency won the Kia pitch.

During his time at Zeno he has risen to the role of EVP, heading an in-house team of five, and helped Kia’s media exposure increase year over year, culminating in more than 19 billion impressions in 2012. During the last 10 years, Joyer has supervised and managed the launch of numerous key vehicles, spearheading one of the most ambitious product introduction calendars in automotive history. In an astonishing design-led transformation that roared into being with the launch of the now iconic Kia Soul urban transport, he was also responsible for introducing an unprecedented nine new models in just 27 months. For 2013, Kia planned to introduce seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles, going at a breakneck pace unheard of in the auto industry.

The trust clients place in Joyer and their confidence in his abilities are shown by the fact he has been asked to serve as interim PR director at both Kia and Pizza Hut, helping stabilize both companies during times of flux. Colleagues describe him as a "strategic mastermind," but also a fantastic manager and mentor.

"Whether you are a client, agency partner, or someone lucky enough to work on his team, Jay makes an exceptional impression every time," says Grant Deady, Zeno Group’s chief culture officer.

"He is the perfect combination of a throwback PR guy who understands the value of personal relationship building," he adds, "while at the same time a modern day communications expert who uses every technology and tool available to drive results for his clients and colleagues."

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