Currently head of external comms at Vodafone UK, Wray starts his role at the aerospace giant at the end of the year.
He replaces Jane Terry, who will be leaving to head up PR for the newly created international arm of Lockheed Martin at the end of this week.
Wray’s move follows three years at Vodafone, and just as the phone company bids to take 4G market share in the UK having launched the service last month.
He is set to join a company which has posted revenues of £7.3bn, up 27 per cent in the six months to June, but still finds itself in the thick of an investigation for bribery and corruption in China and Indonesia.
Peter Morgan, director, corporate affairs at Rolls-Royce, said: "Richard has a distinguished record as a journalist and has established an impressive track record in corporate communications working for a global company. I have known him for many years and am looking forward to working with him, building and defending the reputation of Rolls-Royce."
Prior to joining Vodafone, Wray was a financial journalist and news editor at The Guardian, latterly as communications editor, for almost a decade.
His successor will be announced in due course.