McDevitt, appointed after an eight-month search, replaces Georgina Crace, who left IPC in August for the role of managing director at Trinity Mirror's regional newspaper division.
Joining IPC in May and reporting to the chief executive, Sylvia Auton, McDevitt will be responsible for IPC's central sales teams as well as for group sales teams in its TV listings division, IPC tx, and its women's weekly arm, IPC Connect.
Unlike Crace, however, McDevitt will not have responsibility for advertising across IPC's other divisions - IPC Southbank, Ignite! and Classified.
Sales teams in these divisions, which handle advertising for magazines including key monthly titles such as InStyle, Marie Claire and Loaded, will continue to report to their divisional managing directors instead of to McDevitt.
Since resigning as Barb's chief executive in July 2003, following a five-year stint, McDevitt has worked on a consultancy basis for agencies including Walker Media.
Previously, she worked as a board director of WestCountry Television and has also spent time in various ITV companies running national sales teams and handling national and local advertising.
Auton said: "Caroline is the ideal person to head IPC Advertising at a time when clients and agencies are demanding more innovation and more creativity in our ad offering. She has the experience and track record to build on the proven success of IPC Advertising and to lead our team of highly regarded sales experts."
McDevitt said: "IPC is at the forefront of creating magazines for today's lifestyle in an increasingly competitive market, and I have grown up with many of its iconic and diverse brands, such as Woman's Own and NME. Convergence of content and distribution within the various media sectors means that cross-disciplinary experience is a necessary ingredient in the recipe for success for any media organisation."
IPC, which is owned by the US media giant Time Warner, recently launched the women's weekly title Pick Me Up, which, as part of IPC Connect, will be part of McDevitt's portfolio.