From today, McRae will combine the role with that of chair of Mindshare Western Europe. She replaces Mark Creighton, who left after two years in May to become the chief operating officer of Dentsu Aegis Network UK.
McRae has worked at the Group M agency since 2004, taking the lead on the global Unilever account.
Nick Emery, Mindshare’s global chief executive, said: "Helen is a rare talent able to lead intellectually and is a demon shit-kicker. Taking the UK role removes a regional layer and makes us faster and more adaptive."
Elsewhere, Mindshare’s non-executive chairman of Germany, Christof Baron, has become the chief executive of Central and Eastern Europe.