Clare Durward, the former head of new business and marketing at Leo Burnett, is to take up the top marketing position at J. Walter Thompson.
She will join JWT on 12 March as marketing director and will fill the position vacated by Mark Robinson. He left at the end of January to join Miracle Media Group, the media company specialising in film, as managing director.
Durward will be responsible for the marketing of JWT as a brand and will also have a key role in the generation of new business.
Tim Davis, JWT's chairman, said: 'We were enormously impressed with the quality of work Clare had done with Leo Burnett.'
Durward joined Leo Burnett five years ago. Before that she was at TSMS for 12 years, latterly as head of marketing and planning at the former ITV sales house.
'My marketing and PR experience will allow us to create a first-class shop window of all the things the agency is currently achieving. The drive and commercial appetite of WPP mirrors my own desire to attract further famous brands into the agency,' Durward said.
Davis added: 'Mark will be a tough act to follow. But we think that Clare will cope admirably.' Robinson maintained a high profile in the industry while at JWT, latterly as chairman of NABS.
'The timing is also perfect,' Davis continued. 'Clare arrives only two weeks before Simon Bolton (the agency's new chief executive). They will be able to bring new ideas simultaneously and start the ball rolling on new business.'
Durward will report directly to Bolton, who starts in London at the beginning of April. Earlier this month, Campaign revealed that JWT had lured Bolton back to the UK from the position of chief executive at FCB San Francisco.
Kate Howe, the deputy managing director at Leo Burnett, has taken on Durward's responsibilities. Following Durward's departure, however, Leo Burnett suffered the loss of its entire public relations department. Liz Larner, Shelley Stephens and Jessica Williams have all quit the agency over the past few weeks.