In his new role, he will take over the day-to-day operational running of the business - currently overseen by Farah Ramzan Golant, the chief executive.
Pearman, who started as a graduate at AMV BBDO in 1996, will become only the fourth managing director in the agency's 30-year history.
In July 1999, he became an account manager before being promoted to account director just six months later. In April 2002, he moved to become the client services director.
Golant said: "When I stepped up to the job of chief executive three years ago, my instinct was to let the next managing director emerge over time, rather than fill the post quickly. Ian is a lethal combination of three assets: he has a keen eye for breakthrough ideas, a quick brain, and a natural, self-deprecating charm."