Whitehead worked at College Hill for more than four years, in the oil and gas, mining and energy team. He has built particular experience in advising companies from and into Russia and other Commonwealth of Independent States nations.
Richard Millar, H&K's UK CEO, said: 'Simon has a wealth of experience in energy and industrials, a complex but continually expanding and innovative sector. His specialist understanding and experience in Eastern Europe, Russia and emerging markets will drive our team forwards.' Whitehead will join the firm later this month.
Stephanie Bailey and Rob Foyle had been jointly heading H&K's energy and industrials team following the departure of the division's former head Jim Donaldson to Weber Shandwick in April this year.
The division was created in April 2010 when H&K remodelled itself around industry sectors rather than traditional agency practices.
Donaldson had been MD of corporate comms for Hill & Knowlton Europe, Middle East & Africa before the restructure.
At Weber Shandwick, Donaldson is executive vice- president, corporate comms, EMEA.
Whitehead spent two years from 1996 as campaign manager at Conservative Central Office, including during the 1997 general election.
He has also spent 20 years working in capital markets, including five years at APCO Worldwide where he was director of emerging markets, London, and seven years at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, including two years managing the office in Moscow.
Key H&K clients in the sector include gas pipeline Nord Stream, Norwegian energy firm Statoil and Brazilian oil giant Petrobras.