Susanna Dinnage will become the most powerful woman in world football when she replaces Richard Scudamore as the new Premier League executive chairman.
Dinnage, a senior executive at media organisation Discovery, will replace outgoing chief Scudamore early next year.
"I am excited at the prospect of taking on this fantastic role," said Dinnage, who becomes the first woman to hold the post.
"The Premier League means so much to so many people. It represents the pinnacle of professional sport and the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organisation is a great privilege.
"With the support of clubs and the team, I look forward to extending the success of the League for many years to come."
The 51-year-old Fulham fan has experience in the crucial field of the three-yearly Premier League TV rights issue from the other side of the fence, having briefly threatened Sky’s stranglehold following Discovery’s takeover of Eurosport.
She narrowly missed out on landing the top job at Channel 4 last year, and is currently the global president for Animal Planet, having previously worked as president for Discovery Networks UK and Ireland.
Representatives from 20 Premier League clubs were summoned to a meeting at the Premier League's London headquarters earlier today, at short notice, to receive the news.
Dinnage is the first of two appointments, with the Premier League having elected to split Scudamore's role.
Dinnage takes charge as executive chairman, with the search for a non-executive chair now set to commence.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck led the recruitment drive along with Leicester chief Susan Whelan and Burnley chairman Mike Garlick.
Buck said: "We are very pleased to appoint such a capable leader to this important role.
"We had a very strong field, but Susanna was the outstanding choice given her track record in managing complex businesses through transformation and digital disruption.
"She is a leading figure in the broadcasting industry, a proven business executive and a great developer of people. She is ideally suited to the role and we are confident she will be able to take the Premier League on to new heights.
"Richard Scudamore, having provided exceptional stewardship for almost 20 years, will leave us at the end of the year in great shape and with an excellent Executive Team and Board able to fully support Susanna."
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke welcomed Dinnage's appointment and thanked Scudamore for his "passion and dedication" over the past two decades.
"The FA and the Premier League have a strong and successful relationship and we look forward to building on that under Susanna's new leadership," Clarke said in a statement.
He also said the FA was required to ratify the appointment and the association's board had done so unanimously.
"We would like to reiterate our thanks to Richard Scudamore for his passion and dedication to English football over the past 20 years," Clarke added.
Executive chairman Scudamore will relinquish his duties at the end of 2018, having announced the surprise end to his highly-successful reign in June.