Friend joined Weber Shandwick as managing director of its consumer practice in 2010 and has since been responsible for growing the division’s client list and profile.
Previously, Friend was head of consumer PR at Sainsbury’s and, before that, she was head of the UK consumer operation at Hill & Knowlton.
The latest promotion for Friend comes a year after she was promoted to chair of Weber Shandwick's EMEA Consumer practice
Friend will continue to report to Colin Byrne, chief executive of Weber Shandwick's UK and EMEA offices.
Byrne said: "Rachel has been a close colleague and a real change agent with our firm for some years. I look forward to working with her in her new role to take Weber Shandwick in London, one of the most important PR markets in the world, to its next stage of evolution, growth and continued success."