She joins next week and is tasked with conducting a worldwide review of all internal and external PR.
Atkinson reports to global sales MD Francoise Rausch and works alongside JCB global marketing and brand director Paul Keogh.
'JCB is a global company and it is looking to strengthen PR around the world,' she said. 'At the moment there is a variety of internal and external PR being used. I will be looking across the board at that.'
PR was previously led by head of corporate affairs John Palmer, who left this month.
A JCB spokesman confirmed Palmer's exact role no longer exists but would make no further comment.
Atkinson, who will be based at the company's global HQ in Staffordshire, previously worked at Bell Pottinger Consultants, where she was a director with clients including JCB.
Before joining Bell Pottinger she had a stint as press secretary to the Princess of Wales, who was a client for her agency Atkinson Courage in 1996. Atkinson resigned after just seven months in the role.
She has also worked for the Rowland Company, where she was deputy chairman.