Taylor, who is also chair of the Institute of Fundraising, told Third Sector that he would take up the newly created role in August after serving a six-month notice period at CRUK. Taylor will not focus on fundraising at Which?, but he will continue to lead the IoF board.
Taylor joined the predecessor to CRUK, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, as its retail director in 1998. The ICRF merged with Cancer Research Campaign to form CRUK in 2002, and in 2004 Taylor became executive director of fundraising and supporter marketing.
He had previously worked in retail management for businesses including the Early Learning Centre, Burton Menswear and Boots.
A spokeswoman for Which? said: "We are pleased to announce that Richard Taylor will join Which? this summer as a senior member of our management team. He will use his wealth of experience to focus on a range of cross-organisational and new commercial areas. We look forward to him joining the organisation."
Taylor told Third Sector: "Although Which? is a registered charity that does campaigning, it’s nothing like what I’m coming from, which has made it quite a tough decision for me. But I’ve been at CRUK for 17 years and, while I remain very committed to the charity’s work, it’s time for me to hand the baton to someone else."
Taylor, who is in his mid-50s, said: "At my time of life, I want to have a stab at another big job that is going to stretch me and frighten me a little".
Taylor said he was attracted to the new role because of the range of products the charity offers – from mortgage advice to product testing – and its influential campaigns. He said he was also looking forward to returning to a more commercial role.
He said he would be working alongside Which?’s senior management team, including the chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith.
CRUK is currently recruiting for two people to fill the role Taylor will vacate: an executive director of fundraising and marketing, and an executive director of philanthropy and high-value fundraising. Taylor said he would not be involved in appointing his replacements – who will each report to CRUK chief executive Harpal Kumar – but that he had been asked for his views.
Taylor said that a vote took place at last month’s IoF board meeting to determine whether they wanted him to stay in the chair. "I got a resounding endorsement, so I will continue," he said, adding that the board would review the decision in a year’s time.
Taylor is looking to relocate with his family in order to simplify his commute to Bristol and London, where Which? is based. He currently lives in Kent.