The announcement forms part of the brewer’s “continued plans to better support its customers” and also includes the creation of a new on-trade sales director role.
Whitehead has been with Molson Coors for the past 11 years and will take over from Frederic Landtmeters, who will become the chief executive officer of Molson Coors Canada.
The new UK boss said: “We have established an ambitious, customer-focused team here in the UK and Ireland that is leading the way in transforming the industry."
He added: “The political and legislative landscape has changed significantly since the start of the year, yet our business continues to thrive.
“We have the best portfolio we have ever had and I look forward to working with our reinvigorated team and our loyal customers to grow our business further in 2017 and beyond.”
Martyn Cozens has been appointed on-trade sales director and will be responsible for running Molson Coors’ on-trade offering.
Alpesh Mistry, former customer marketing director, has been appointed off-trade sales director and replaces Nigel Tordoff, who will move to Molson Coors’ global headquarters in Denver, US, as head of customer excellence.
The brewer recently launched a premium beer and cider range under a Brew + Press brand, which was developed by drinks experts earlier this year and aims to better educate beer and cider drinkers.
Rekorderlig, Blue Moon, Staropramen, Sharp’s Atlantic and Franciscan Well Chieftain IPA and other liquids are included in the offer.
Beer Sommelier for the new initiative Ed Hughes said: “The brewing industry has traditionally been shy in educating people on the different styles and flavours of beer and cider.
“The average beer drinker generally only knows whether they prefer lager, ale or stout. The average wine drinker can name a grape variety or perhaps a region.”