Richard Arnold will replace Ed Woodward as Manchester United’s most senior executive on February 1.
Woodward stated his intention to leave his role as executive vice-chairman last spring amid the fallout from the doomed European Super League project.
Arnold, 50, joined United in August 2007 and has been the club’s managing director since 2013.
He will become chief executive in a change of title from Woodward.
“I would like to thank Ed for his tireless work on behalf of Manchester United during his nine years as executive vice-chairman and 16 years with the club,” said United co-chairman Joel Glazer.
“We are now looking forward to Richard and his leadership team opening a new phase in the club’s evolution, with ambitious plans for investment in Old Trafford, the strengthening of our engagement with fans, and continued drive towards our most important objective – winning on the pitch.”
Arnold has been in charge of day-to-day operations at Old Trafford and is widely credited with building bridges with United’s major fans groups.
In his previous role as commercial director, he was viewed as one of the biggest influences behind the club’s huge commercial growth.
“I am honoured to have the chance to serve this great club and its fans,” he said.
“I am determined to return that honour in any way I can.”