The director of BBC Vision, George Entwistle, has been named as the successor to outgoing director-general Mark Thompson.
Entwistle has been with the BBC since 1989 when he joined as a broadcast journalism trainee.
Before his current position he was controller of knowledge commissioning, and before that had stints as head of current affairs and editor of Newsnight.
Entwistle will receive a salary of £450,000 as director-general, compared with his predecessors salary of £671,000.
Thompson announced his intention to leave the BBC in March this year and will hand over to Entwistle in the autumn.
Announcing the appointment, BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten said: "George is a creative leader for a creative organisation.
"His experience of making and delivering great programmes that audiences love - built up through many years of working for the corporation - will prove invaluable as he and his team work to ensure the BBC remains the greatest broadcaster in the world.
"Above all George is passionate about the BBC, is committed to its public service ethos and has a clear vision for how it can harness the creativity and commitment of its staff to continue to serve audiences in ever more innovative ways."
Entwistle said: "I'm delighted that the chairman and trustees have decided I'm the right person for the job. And I'm very excited about all that lies ahead. I love the BBC and it's a privilege to be asked to lead it into the next stage of its creative life."
Thompson added: "I think this is a brilliant appointment. George has shown himself to be an outstanding leader with an intuitive understanding of public sector broadcasting.
'He has a formidable track record as a programme maker and in recent years has also shown his calibre as a leader. I wish him and the BBC every success in the years to come."