Durham confirmed that Mr McInnis, who moved to become director of the university’s Office of Principal Gifts in 2011, had departed at the end of February this year.
He was a supporter of a controversial £125,000 donation in 2010 from British American Tobacco, which the university accepted despite opposition from its communications office and ethics committee.
Cancer Research UK condemned the donation when it was made public in 2011, saying that such partnerships created “unwarranted respectability” for tobacco companies in order to “create an environment where there are soft government policies on tobacco”.
It argued that Durham should return the money, although BAT has always said that the donation, which funded scholarships for Afghan women at the university, was done for its own sake and not as a form of self-promotion.
Last month Mr McInnis took up the post of director at The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, which raises money for the Royal Marsden, a group of specialist cancer hospitals and centres in London.
A spokeswoman for the Royal Marsden said that the charity trustees were “delighted to have secured such a high-quality candidate”.
“Trustees were aware of the decision by Durham University to accept a scholarship which benefited five Afghan women. This donation had no bearing on Mr McInnis’s appointment at The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity,” she said.