David Abraham, the chief executive of UKTV, has been appointed as chief executive of Channel 4.
Mr Abraham, 46, replaces Andy Duncan, who stepped down in November.
He was a co-founder of ad agency St Luke’s and previously worked at Discovery Networks USA and UK.
Mr Abraham said: “This is an extremely exciting, if challenging, time to be working in the media. Innovation has been part of Channel 4’s history and it will be at the heart of its future.
“I look forward to leading the whole organisation through its next period of growth and innovation, both creatively and commercially.
“What I bring to deliver that future is idealism, versatility and a record of leading creative organisations through change.”
Lord Burns, Channel 4’s chairman, said: “David is a rare commodity as a broadcaster in that he has an exceptional track record as an innovative leader, both creatively and commercially.
“At all stages of his career he’s led creative teams and commissioned creative output of the highest quality in a commercial environment.
“It is that experience, we believe, that so well qualifies him for the challenge of running a commercially funded, public service broadcaster like Channel 4.”