David Muir, Ogilvy & Mather's group development director, is to replace Mandy Pooler as the chief executive of WPP's media co-ordination operation, The Channel.
Pooler is stepping down to take a year-long sabbatical after almost four years. She had previously served as the chief executive of the WPP-owned MindShare in the UK.
The appointment marks a significant milestone for Muir. Once O&M's youngest account director, he built his reputation spearheading the agency's new-business drive.
Muir will look at ways to add value across WPP's media and research business, at ways to globally extend Brand Z, a brand development tool, and at possible alliances and acquisitions in the content field.
WPP sources said Muir's experience of working across the O&M group of companies and on brand development makes him the ideal choice to succeed Pooler.
Muir, who will report to Mark Read, WPP's director of strategy, said: "I'm very sad to be leaving O&M but this is too good an opportunity to miss."
WPP set up The Channel to replicate on a media and communications level what it had already achieved with The Store, which aimed to bring together all the retail knowledge accumulated across its operating companies.
For Muir, a 34-year-old Scot, the promotion follows his fast progression at WPP.
A former Campaign Face to Watch, he joined O&M in 1992 after graduating in politics and economics from Glasgow University. His big break came while working on the First Choice launch in 1994. He later became one of the youngest account executives to win the Francis Ogilvy award, an internal prize.
Muir and the O&M planner Jon Miller are the authors of a book, The Business of Brands, which was published at the end of last year.