The British Heart Foundation has appointed Simon Gillespie as its next chief executive.
Gillespie, chief executive of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, will take over in April from Peter Hollins, who is retiring after nearly 10 years at the BHF.
Gillespie has been at the MS Society for six years. He has also worked at the Charity Commission and the Healthcare Commission and spent 20 years in the Royal Navy.
He said he was looking forward to a new challenge at the BHF, which had an income £128.5m in 2011/12 and employs 2,700 staff.
"The charity’s inspirational work, from world-leading research to practical information and support, is fundamental to improving the heart health of millions of people in the UK, now and in the future," he said.
Philip Yea, chair of the BHF, said: "Simon has a successful track record as a leader and extensive knowledge of the challenges faced by medical research and healthcare charities."
Yea praised Gillespie’s predecessor Hollins for his achievements in the post, including campaigning successfully for a traffic light food-labelling scheme.
"He leaves a charity that is in excellent shape, strategically and operationally, and we wish him well in his retirement."