Eamonn Boylan has resigned from his post as deputy chief executive of the Homes & Communities Agency to become chief executive of Stockport City Council.
Prior to joining the HCA at the time of its launch in December 2008, Boylan was deputy chief executive under Sir Howard Bernstein at Manchester City Council.
Boylan will replace John Schultz at Stockport, who is retiring after 16 years in the top officer post at Stockport Town Hall.
Boylan said: "Stockport is renowned for being a well-run authority and I look forward to building on those strengths. There's no doubt this will be a challenging time but I am determined we maximise the opportunities available for improvement, investment and regeneration.
"I look forward to working with colleagues within the council but also in partner organisations across the borough and the region to provide the best services possible and improve outcomes for the people of Stockport."
Stockport Council leader, Cllr Dave Goddard, said: "We are delighted that Eamonn is to become our new Chief Executive. This is a real statement of intent from Stockport that we want to move from excellent to exceptional. Eamonn has a proven track record and we are absolutely certain he will drive us into the best possible position.
"We know that Stockport has a great workforce, we have good transport links and we have sites ripe for development. The climate is still challenging economically and we have total confidence that Eamonn is the right person to take us on the next stage of our journey.
"National inspectors have told us we run one of the best authorities in the country but there is no room for complacency. We need to provide value-for-money in all the 600 services we deliver. We want to build on our current success to improve life for everyone here in Stockport. Eamonn will play a crucial role in that constant improvement, regeneration and in providing value-for-money.
"He knows the region well and he's played key roles already in attracting international investment and in working with other authorities to achieve great results."
Stockport is unique in being the only English council to have had just two chief executives since the national map of council areas was re-drawn in 1974.
Another of Bernstein's peers, Charlie Parker, once head of the inner cities unit at Manchester, is now chief executive of Oldham Council.
Boylan is expected to take up the post by the summer,.