In his new position, Huntington will take a leading role in representing the agency externally and with senior clients. He will maintain his duties as chief strategy officer – a post he has held since 2008.
The changes follow the promotion of Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon UK group chief executive Magnus Djaba to the additional role of global president, and Danny Josephs joining Saatchi & Saatchi as chief operating officer.
Djaba said: "Richard has relentlessly demonstrated that he is the beating heart of this brand. His incredible energy, spirit and focus on our clients’ challenges epitomise what ‘Nothing is impossible’ is all about."
Hawkey becomes the agency’s first managing director since the departure of Leigh Thomas in 2013.
At Saatchi & Saatchi since 2012, Hawkey rose from business leader to managing partner, with responsibility for the sales-focused division Buy, in 2015.