Reporting to News Magazines' chief executive Camilla Rhodes, Whetton will be responsible for the publisher's day-to-day operations and drive its strategy for future magazine launches.
The role sees Whetton take on his previous employer, as News Magazines' launches to date - women's weekly Love It! and home interest monthly Inside Out - have been positioned as competitors to IPC titles such as Pick Me Up and Living Etc.
He joins as News Magazines prepares for the autumn debut of its third magazine, a celebrity women's weekly that could be a rival to IPC's Now, to be edited by former Hello! editor and Reveal deputy editor Maria Trkulja.
The publisher, which was formed at the end of 2005, is thought to have planned at least two further launches in its first year.
Whetton left IPC Southbank in November last year to take time out of the industry and was succeeded by Jackie Newcombe, who was promoted from her role as Marie Claire publishing director.
He said he was attracted by News Magazines' ability to launch big titles, with major backing from News International, but liked their status as a small organisation.
"It's very market-focused and Camilla can make things happen faster than anyone I've known," he said.
Whetton joined the magazine industry more than 30 years ago in advertising sales for Family Circle, later becoming publishing director of IPC's portfolio of country titles.
He became president of US-based global content management company OAG World Wide in 1998, facilitating the group's sale three years later.
Whetton rejoined IPC in 2003 to oversee Southbank's 15 titles, primarily in the women's monthly and home interest markets and led the relaunch of Marie Claire.
Rhodes added: "Sandy is one of the industry's most accomplished and respected figures. His outstanding experience will be an invaluable asset as we shape the future of our business."