As the chairman of Publicis' operations in Britain, Lindsay will have a broader role than that of Gerry Moira, who quit the chairmanship of the London agency in January to resume his copywriting career.
Lindsay's task will not only be to provide Publicis with the mature leadership personified by its former chief executive, Richard Hytner, but to end last year's disappointing new-business record characterised by the failure of its consortium to capture the £90 million Boots account.
His hiring is also intended to allow Rick Bendel, the Publicis chief operating officer, to step back from London and concentrate on running the global network.
Lindsay, who will take up his new job at the beginning of next month, will take charge of all Publicis group companies including Publicis Dialog (direct marketing), Publicis Blueprint (customer publishing) and its two design specialists, Comma and Carre Noire.
He will also become a member of the Publicis global management team and is expected to extend his role later to take on Bendel's former responsibilities as the head of the Publicis Nordic region.
"Tim's appointment is a clear reflection of our intention to make Publicis the best network in the world," Bendel said. "He is an outstanding leader whose international experience will be invaluable to us and he is dedicated to the creative product."
Bendel added: "He's the missing ingredient we have been lacking in London, is well-connected throughout the industry and will lead our coming-of-age in the UK."
A 25-year veteran of the business, Lindsay's career has spanned senior management roles at Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Lowe. It is thought that he resigned from Lowe in November with no job to go to because of his growing frustration at the management of the network's relationship with its Interpublic parent.
In his role at Publicis, the UK's fourth-largest shop, he will head a management triumvirate that also comprises Grant Duncan, the agency's chief executive, and Nik Studzinski, who was appointed as the executive creative director last summer.
"I think I can be a good partner to people such as Nik and Grant in their mission to improve the quality of the work," Lindsay said. "One of the things I like about Publicis is that it doesn't need a turnaround job. I hope I can help it to attract quality people and win some of the UK business it hasn't been an obvious candidate for."