Network Rail said Alex Hynes, the current managing director of Arriva Rail North, will be appointed managing director of the ScotRail Alliance.
He will replace Phil Verster following the announcement last week that Verster is to move to be managing director of the planned East West rail project connecting Oxford and Cambridge.
Verster has been under pressure in recent months because of ScotRail’s failure to meet some targets on punctuality and reliability.
Network Rail describes the ScotRail Alliance as “a close working relationship between Abellio ScotRail and Network Rail Scotland Route.”
Hynes will join the ScotRail Alliance later in the year.
Hynes said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to lead the ScotRail Alliance, this cutting-edge arrangement, which brings together the management of ScotRail and Network Rail to deliver the very best for customers.
“The ScotRail Alliance is delivering one of the largest programmes of investment, change and modernisation since the railway was built.
“To be part of that, and the plans to vastly improve services and capacity for customers, is hugely exciting for me.”
Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail said: “We are very pleased that Alex is joining Network Rail to lead the ScotRail Alliance.
“This is one of the most pressurised, high profile roles in the whole railway industry and we look forward to helping him succeed.”
Dominic Booth, managing director, Abellio UK said: “Alex has a proven track record delivering rail improvement and investment programmes, and is the ideal replacement.
“We are currently investing in a fleet of 70 new faster, longer and greener trains, which will transform the rail travel experience of our customers and we are delighted to have Alex in place to lead this work.”