A Sunderland-born businessman has been appointed chairman of the regional development agency One North East.
Paul Callaghan will replace Margaret Fay, who joined the agency from Tyne Tees Television six years ago.
Mr Callaghan chairs Leighton, the North East-based technology, software, media and communications group.
The government is reviewing the future of regional development agencies, but said the North East was a region where agency support was necessary.
Alan Clarke, One North East's chief executive, said: "Finding a new chairman to replace Margaret was always going to be a tough task but in Paul we have a worthy successor.
"He is a highly respected businessman and entrepreneur - a passionate advocate for business and e-commerce in the region who has worked closely with Margaret both as a board member and more recently as deputy chairman."
Mr Clarke also paid tribute to Mrs Fay as an "outstanding ambassador for the North East".
Mr Callaghan, 57, will formally take over the role on 16 August.
He said: "I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to be the next chairman of One North East.
"The coming years are a crucial time for this region and I want to help build on the agency's tremendous achievements over the last decade."