The agency has been without a managing director since James Murphy was promoted to chief executive in November 2004.
Exon leaves BBH after 13 years. He started his advertising career at Ogilvy & Mather before joining the agency in 1994 to work on its Audi account. He was appointed to the board in 1999 and named the head of account management in 2000. Exon became the group business development director in 2005.
“RKCR/Y&R’s momentum has been solely down to the talent within our team,” Murphy said.
“Richard’s combination of energy, entrepreneurialism and creative passion will enable us to build on that momentum. We’re thrilled he’ll be joining us.”
Exon added: “I couldn’t ask for a bigger or better opportunity. It’s a fantastic time to be joining the agency: great people, work and clients. I can’t wait to get started.”
The BBH managing director, Ben Fennell, said: “I’m sure Richard will be a huge success in his new role.”