Classic FM managing director Murray Dudgeon will leave the station to return to McCann-Erickson in a global media role, leaving the media shop after only 18 months.
Dudgeon will rejoin McCann in the newly created post of executive vice president, worldwide media operations. He will be based in New York.
Dudgeon spent 18 years in McCann’s various media departments, most recently as European media director.
He joined the UK’s largest commercial radio station, which is owned by radio group GWR, last April.
On joining Classic FM Dudgeon said: “I always knew it would take something special for me to leave Universal McCann and I am delighted to be joining the GWR Group which has a great track record in commercial radio.”
Dudgeon is not expected to leave until the autumn. GWR chief executive Ralph Bernard is not expected to look for a direct replacement for him.
Classic FM finance director Steve Horner is expected to become general manager of the station when Dudgeon leaves. However, Horner will retain his current role.
During Dudgeon’s time at McCann, he became deputy media director, European media director, and senior vice president. Once he has rejoined in his new role, he will also become a member of the McCann-Erickson Worldwide management board and will work exclusively on global media issues.
McCann-Erickson Worldwide places advertising billings of almost $13bn (8bn) in 123 countries.