He is being replaced by London-based Oliver Pawle, who will become non-executive global chairman of FTI’s strategic comms practice from April.
Formerly vice-chairman of the investment banking division of UBS, Pawle is the chairman of Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann's Board Services practice.
He said: ‘I have been involved with FTI Consulting for many years and am delighted to be taking on this role. I had the opportunity to work with Charles prior to the firm's acquisition of Financial Dynamics and through its transition to the strategic comms practice of FTI Consulting.
‘His team has successfully built a pre-eminent global strategic communications consultancy and, with the additional capabilities provided as part of the wider FTI Consulting group, it is a truly unique and powerful provider of senior advisory services.’
Watson will maintain an advisory role with FTI Consulting, but will spend more time developing his other business interests.
Last year Watson co-launched a marcoms group and acquired ad agency Karmarama and its offshoot PR venture Kaper, with private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners backing the deal.
He is also non-executive chairman for the independent university venture New College of the Humanities.
Jack Dunn, president and CEO of FTI Consulting, said: ‘On behalf of FTI Consulting, I would like to thank Charles for his enormous contribution to making our strategic comms practice the great business it is today. I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new senior advisory role and wish him well with his new business interests.
‘Oliver brings with him a wealth of international business experience and is highly respected in the market by clients and colleagues alike,’ Dunn added. ‘We very much look forward to working even more closely with him as we continue to develop our Strategic Communications practice throughout the world.’