Tony Hall, currently chief executive of the Royal Opera House and deputy chairman of Channel 4, has been announced as the new director general of the BBC.
Lord Hall was head of BBC News and Current Affairs from 1996 to 2001 and launched BBC News Online.
He is expected to take up the £450,000 a year post in early March and until then Tim Davie will remain as acting director general.
In a statement the BBC said Hall's appointment was unanimously agreed by trustees at a meeting this morning.
Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, said: "While there are still very serious questions to be answered by the on-going inquiries, it is in the interests of licence fee payers that the BBC now starts to refocus on its main purpose – making great programmes that audiences love and trust.
"In doing this it will need to take a long, hard look at the way it operates and put in place the changes required to ensure it lives up to the standards that the public expects. Tony Hall is the right person to lead this and I am delighted that he is taking on this role. For its part I want to make sure that the Trust gives Tony Hall whatever help and support he needs to re-build the BBC's management around him.
"Tony Hall has been an insider and is a currently an outsider. As an ex-BBC man he understands how the Corporation's culture and behaviour make it, at its best, the greatest broadcaster in the world. And from his vantage point outside the BBC, he understands the sometimes justified criticisms of the Corporation – that it can be inward looking and on occasions too institutional.
"But perhaps most importantly, given where we now find ourselves, his background in news will prove invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild both its reputation in this area and the trust of audiences."
The BBC said Hall did not apply for the post but was approached directly by the corporation's trustees. No other candidates were approached.
Hall said: "It's been a difficult few weeks – but together we'll get through it.
"I'm committed to ensuring our news services are the best in the world.
"I'm committed to making this a place where creative people, the best and the brightest, want to work.
"And I know from my first days here as a news trainee, to my time as head of news and current affairs, to my time now at the Royal Opera House, that I can't do it on my own. Having the right teams working together, sparking off each other, is key.
"And I want to build a world class team to lead a world class BBC."