A new chief executive has been appointed to Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.
Sarah Norman, currently strategic director for community at Wolverhampton City Council, will take up the £165,000-a-year post in the new year assuming it is formally ratified by the council at its meeting on Friday.
The 52 year old will bring more than 30 years of public sector experience to the role and replace incumbent John Polychronakis who is retiring from the authority after almost 40 years in local government.
The authority said one of her key roles will be to build on the proposals to create a combined authority in the West Midlands to bring in more money and powers from central government.
Ms Norman, from Birmingham, said: "I'm delighted to have been offered this exciting new challenge.
"I'm really looking forward to working with a new team of colleagues at Dudley Council and to serving the people of Dudley."
She will join the authority amidst plans to create what it called "the leanest management structure in the country" by cutting the number of senior management positions from 22 to 11 to produce savings of £1million.
Council bosses have declared it as the most radical restructuring proposal since the authority was created in 1974.
Council leader Coun David Sparks said: "I am delighted to be able to recommend Sarah to the authority and look forward to working with her to drive through fundamental change.
"As well as driving a fundamental restructuring of the council, she will be specifically tasked to build external partnerships as we move towards a combined authority.
"These are challenging times for any local authority but I believe this appointment will help keep us ahead of the curve and take us from a good local authority to a national leader in local government."