Bob Fernley has been placed in charge of Fernando Alonso's bid to complete the 'Triple Crown'.
Fernley, the 51-year-old former Force India deputy team principal, joins as president of McLaren's IndyCar operation, and will spearhead their challenge in America next May.
McLaren are running an entry for the Indy 500 with Alonso, 37, looking to add to his Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans victories, and follow in Graham Hill's footsteps as the only other driver to have won all three races.
Alonso will retire from Formula One at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which takes place a week on Sunday.
Fernley, who parted company with Force India after his ally Vijay Mallya lost control of the team earlier this year, said: "I'm proud to be leading this McLaren project and team.
"The (Indy) 500 is a hell of a challenge and we have incredibly strong competitors to overcome if we're to be successful.
"We need to prepare well and that work starts now."