The position, which is based in San Francisco and takes effect in mid-August, is a newly created one for the McCann network.
Mr. LePlae, 49, spent 10 years at TBWA. His predecessor in the president role, Brett Gosper, also defected to McCann.
In the months following his departure from TBWA, Mr. LePlae was rumored to be in advanced talks for the job of global CEO at McCann sister shop Lowe Worldwide. The search to replace former Lowe chief Stephen Gatfield was a drawn-out process, and eventually Michael Wall, a former top executive at BBDO Portugal and at Fallon, was appointed to the role.
As North American president, Mr. LePlae will have responsibility for McCann Erickson, San Francisco; TAG; McCann Erickson, Detroit; McCann Erickson, Los Angeles; and McCann's Canadian operations. He won't, however, be overseeing the flagship office in New York, headed by President Lori Senecal.
His task ahead is no doubt a challenging one, as the offices in his charge are grappling with diminished revenue from key clients. McCann is dealing with the bankruptcy of longtime auto client General Motors, and is also left with a smaller piece of Microsoft's marketing pie. In the past year, Microsoft has handed significant assignments to other agencies such as JWT and Crispin. To boot, McCann has seen little traction in the way of new-business wins.