Charlie Parker is leaving Oldham Council to run Westminster Council, one of the top jobs in local government.
During a five-year tenure as chief executive, Parker is credited with having helped to attract £500m of investment while finding budget savings of around £140m.
He said: "This has been a very difficult choice for me to make. The Westminster role is the type of opportunity that only comes once in a lifetime and it's probably only one of a couple that I would have left Oldham to take.
"I've had a fantastic five years here. It's been a privilege and pleasure to be involved in the improvements that have set us apart – both the council, and Oldham as a place – to make people sit up and notice us again in a positive way regionally and nationally.
"Before I go, however, plenty of important work remains to be done – particularly in terms of finalising regeneration deals – and I am totally focused on ensuring that I leave Oldham on a high."
Parker, 52, also also serves as chief executive of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority.
Before joining Oldham Council, he was director of investment and performance at English Partnerships. His other previous posts have included group strategic development director at Preston-based Enterprise, executive director for regeneration at Liverpool City Council, and head of Manchester Council's inner city department.