Former ITV comms director Howson will take the newly created CEO post after four years at the agency.
PRWeek can also reveal that Freuds has hired former Cadbury global corporate affairs director Alex Cole to replace Howson as MD of the agency's corporate and media practice. Cole joins the agency in September, having left confectionery firm Cadbury this year after its takeover by rival Kraft. She headed the corporate affairs department since 2007 and had been at the company for ten years.
Nick Mulholland, previously MD of the consumer practice, now becomes MD of the agency.
Howson joined Freuds in 2006, having spent five years at ITV. Freuds' corporate team, FC Corp, specialises in reputation management and corporate comms for domestic and global clients including PepsiCo, Asda, Sky and Mars.
A senior Freuds source agreed Howson had cemented her status as Freud's 'right-hand woman'.