Leathers will join the agency in April to partner Gavin Kellett, the head of copy at Publicis, who previously partnered Nik Studzinski, the former executive creative director at the agency.
Leathers and Kellett will report to Adam Kean and Tom Ewart, the joint executive creative directors at Publicis.
During his tenure at Lowe London, Leathers partnered George Prest, who left the agency last month to join Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners as its executive creative director.
Leathers said: "My move to Publicis has nothing to do with the problems at Lowe. We had been there for four years and thought it was time to move on. I'm excited about the challenge here."
Kean said: "We see the head of art role being different from other agencies. It's not just a print role any more, it means much more. He (Leathers) will also be the head of style, the head of content and the head of trends."