Toby Hoare, the executive chairman of JWT London, is poised to replace Michael Maedel as the network's head of Europe.
The move will see Maedel, the chief executive and president of JWT EMEA, moving to run the network in Asia.
But Maedel, who already has some responsibility for the agency's business in Asia, said that his role within the network would not change. He has been with JWT since 1990.
Although the company is understood to have considered external candidates, Hoare has been well-placed to take the head of Europe role since he joined the network in 2003.
He was instrumental in the network's global HSBC win the following year, and has run the business for WPP since then. He is expected to continue running the £350 million account, despite his new workload.
Last year, Hoare took on some responsibility for the London agency when Simon Bolton, the former chief executive, stepped down from the role in November, following a disastrous end to 2005.
In rapid succession the agency had lost the global Persil account, which moved to Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the Axa business, which moved to Grey Australia, and the pan-European Lipton Ice Tea business, which moved into DDB.
Total UK billings for all of the lost accounts amounted to more than £60 million and Hoare's focus will now be on helping JWT's new London chief executive, Alison Burns, to rebuild the agency.
Insiders say that one of Hoare's main challenges in this role will not just be running the network in Europe, but marshalling the powerful account barons in the London office and creating a functional operating agency where they all work together.
At the time of going to press, Hoare was unavailable for comment.
- Comment, page 56.