Mr. McNeil's work on IBM included campaigns ranging from its long-running e-business campaign to ads commemorating IBM's commitment to corporate diversity.
Ogilvy said the agency was "grateful" for what Mr. McNeil accomplished there.
Mr. McNeil will replace Kevin Moehlenkamp, executive vice president and co-chief creative officer who announced in September that he was leaving McCann at the end of the year to join Interpublic sibling Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston as executive vice president and executive creative director. Mr. McNeil will team with Jeff Huggins, a former executive creative director at WPP's J. Walter Thompson in San Francisco who joined a year ago as co-creative director on the account.
McCann in a statement said Mr. McNeil, 34, will partner, and share the same title, with Mr. Huggins.
Under Mr. Moehlenkamp, McCann launched Microsoft's branding campaign behind the "Your potential. Our passion" tagline. The campaign in TV and print executions uses animated chalk-like illustrations to show how Microsoft can help individuals expand their creative potential and realize their dreams.
However, those familiar with Microsoft said executives are interested in garnering more creative firepower on the account in preparation for major launches next year, including a campaign for Windows and Office. "Maybe this will cure their IBM envy," one executive familiar with the company said.
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Matthew Creamer contributed to this report.