HONG KONG—Golin has hired Waggener Edstrom's Zaheer Nooruddin for the newly-created role of head of digital innovation in Asia.

The appointment expands Golin's digital capabilities in the region, and will see Nooruddin work alongside existing Asia digital head Simon Ruparelia.

Nooruddin, who begins the role in early 2015, will be based in Hong Kong, reporting to Golin international president Jon Hughes.

He leaves Waggener Edstrom after two years as VP of digital, social media, insight and analytics. Prior to WagEd, Nooruddin spent two years at Burson-Marsteller, after a three-year stint at Edelman.

“Scooping talent like Zaheer is only possible because of a common desire to drive creative change and challenge convention,” said Hughes. “I love the fact that he shares our ambition and believes that digital innovation and creative communications are essential for brands to either stand out from the crowd in Asia or to become global icons.”

Nooruddin told the Holmes Report that Golin's g4 model, which has seen the agency restructure around specific types of talent, was an important factor in his decision to join. He also noted that his role would require a considerable focus on "creative bravery."

"In most Asian markets today we've evolved to a place where most brand experiences are digital-driven — that is, the experiences that audiences have of companies are either driven out of digital domains, or they are augmented by or supported with digital mediums," said Nooruddin.

"For me, innovation means thinking through data, new platforms, the possibilities of content, experiences and, above all, being creatively bold," added Nooruddin. "We want to create stories that work for business, that stand out and get noticed. We want to create communications that link to commerce, with real commercial benefit for our clients."