The newly created position will see Gatfield working out of New York and reporting directly to Interpublic's chairman and chief executive David Bell.
Gatfield has been tasked with helping Interpublic's management team plan and implement a streamlined international operating structure.
He will also work with individual operating units to develop, improve and extend new models to help Interpublic companies better deliver services to clients.
"We want to be the marketing services company that best anticipates and adapts to the new realities that are transforming our industry," Bell said. "This requires focusing holding company and operating unit functions, particularly in international and developing markets. At the same time we need to provide novel thinking that delivers the best from traditional and non-traditional marketing services."
Gatfield, a former chief executive of Leo Burnett London, left the network last September. He had spent almost his entire 20-year career with Leo Burnett, broken only by a three-year stint as planning director at Saatchi & Saatchi London in the 80s.
He joined the agency's London office in 1987 before spending four years in Asia as a regional managing director. He moved to Chicago in 2001 to join the global management team.
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