The former president and chief executive of Airbus has been appointed by PSA Peugeot Citroen to be the chairman of its managing board.
Christian Streiff, who resigned after 100 days in the top job at the European aircraft manufacturer, will succeed Jean-Martin Folz from February 6 next year.
In his role he will be charged with overcoming declining sales in Peugeot's main western European markets.
He will also aim to accelerate sales in east Europe and China after four profit warn-ings in five quarters and profits which dipped from £510 million to £151 million in the first six months of this year.
While at Airbus, he started mapping out the plans to save 30 per cent in structural costs as the firm wrestled with fresh delays to its superjumbo.
But Airbus faced pressure from many politicians to protect jobs at its plants in France,
Germany, Spain and Britain, and Mr Streiff quit, saying the company was fundamentally dysfunctional.
Before joining Airbus, the 52-year-old was deputy chief executive at glass maker and materials firm Saint-Gobain, a company where he had spent most of his career.
PSA has been looking for a new chief executive since announcing in September that Jean-Martin Folz would retire early in January.
He will start work at Peugeot today, and spend the next few months meeting the teams and employees getting to know the job.
Peugeot said Mr Streiff would not be commenting on his new role before he formally took control next year.
Thierry Peugeot, chairman of supervisory board, said: "Mr Streiff has got a large number of strengths to serve as chairman of the managing board and lead the company into a period of growth."
A spokesman for the company said: "He is an industry executive with 26 years of experience with the same
company, and has international experience in Europe, the US Brazil and China.
"The international nature of our business makes this very important. The key to our growth is our ability to continue the success we have enjoyed in South America, China and central Europe in recent years.
"We now sell more than one million vehicles a year outside western Europe, which is 30 per cent of our total.
"That compares with 18 per cent four or five years ago."
The spokesman said he was unconcerned by Mr Streiff's short stint at Airbus.
He said: "We have very careful corporate governance procedures and the supervisory board unanimously approved his appointment."
But the spokesman said it would have no impact on the decision to close the Ryton factory near Coventry, which is due to finish work in January, although Mr Streiff will oversee the Peugeot UK operations which employ 400 people at Stoke Aldermoor.
"This is a challenging time for the group after a period of consistent growth and we need to restore this growth and margins as soon as possible.
"Profitability is not what we would like it to be."
Earlier in the day, PSA Peugeot Citroen formally unveiled the next generation of vans it has developed together with Fiat.
The new light vans, which replace the Peugeot Expert, Citroen Dispatch and Fiat Scudo, represent a near £300 million joint investment by the two automotive makers.
Mr Folz and Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat, launched the range compact light commercial vehicles at the Sevel Nord plant in northern France.
The new vans will hit the market in mid-January 2007 and keep the respective names of the older models they are replacing.
Nearly one million units of the previous generation of Peugeot Expert, Citroen Dis-patch and Fiat Scudo models, launched in 1995, have so far been produced at the Sevel Nord plant.