Colin Hutchison has been promoted from head of development to chief executive officer at Scottish Athletics.
The 35-year-old replaces Mark Munro, who is leaving to take up a post with UK Athletics.
Chairman Ian Beattie led the recruitment process and says Hutchison "articulated a strong vision" of how to take the governing body forward.
"There was considerable interest from a strong range of candidates," added Beattie.
"Throughout this process Colin was able to demonstrate an excellent awareness of the priorities for Scottish Athletics in the years ahead."
Eilidh Doyle, Scotland's most decorated track and field athlete and a Scottish Athletics board member, was also involved in the interviews and selection along with David Ovens, who becomes chairman in September, and Sportscotland CEO Stewart Harris.
Munro took charge in summer 2016 and Hutchison is "honoured" to be appointed his successor after four years as head of development.
"I am extremely grateful to the board for giving me the opportunity," he said.
"Athletics in Scotland is well placed to emerge in a stable position from the pandemic and I know that working closely with all the stakeholders in athletics the sport will come back even stronger."