Previously head of strategy, James joins chief executive Jon Sharpe and newly-appointed chief creative Jonathan Burley on the WPP agency’s executive management team.
RKCR/Y&R had been without a chief strategy officer since May 2014, when Alice Huntley left to join BBC Worldwide as director of strategy, global markets. Huntley replaced Ben Kay, who was promoted from CSO to CEO in 2011. Kay was replaced by Sharpe last December.
James, who reports to Sharpe, will oversee and lead the strategic vision for the agency. She has worked at RKCR/Y&R for over ten years (head of strategy since 2010) and has worked on campaigns for brands such as M&S, Virgin Atlantic and the BBC.
She has authored four award-winning IPA effectiveness papers, including two golds for Virgin Atlantic and the Home Office.
Tamsin Djaba, the agency’s strategy partner who joined earlier this year from Droga5 London, has replaced James as head of strategy.
Sharpe said: "Emily has a proven track record of effectiveness as evidenced by her multiple IPA Effectiveness golds and silvers.
"She has an uncanny understanding of human behaviour, is truly entrepreneurial and innovative in her strategic thinking and has played a pivotal role in our recent run of new business wins."