His appointment comes in the wake of severe account losses, most recently the £1.7 billion General Motors US media account. He must also attempt to compensate for last year's departures, including HSBC and Braun, from the Lowe network and the pan-European Unilever business from Initiative.
Centrillo replaces Kevin Allen, who has switched to London to focus on IPG business development in Europe.
The hiring means a return to IPG for Centrillo, who was previously a global account director at McCann Erickson in New York, working on Motorola, Interbrew and Aon.
He was previously the vice-president and managing partner of darkGrey, an integrated communications specialist dedicated to technology and telecoms clients. He was also the chief operating officer of the Grey office in Atlanta.
Michael Roth, IPG's chairman and chief executive, cited Centrillo's experience of running major accounts and his understanding of integrated communications as the reasons for the appointment.
"Organic revenue must remain the top priority for all our companies," he said.