The BBC has appointed senior World Service executive Gwyneth Williams as the new controller of Radio 4 succeeding Mark Damazer.
Williams, who joined the BBC in 1976, will take up her new role in September.
Until recently, she was the director of BBC World Service English. The post is being merged into a new one as part of a management shakeup announced this year.
Williams also served as the head of radio current affairs, editor of the BBC Reith lectures, producer and duty editor of the World Tonight, deputy editor of special current affairs programmes, editor of policy and social programmes on BBC Radio 5 Live, editor of The Week in Westminster on Radio 4 and editor of On The Record on BBC1.
The veteran executive outbid competition from Peter Barron, the Google PR chief and former editor of Newsnight; Mary Hockaday, the head of the BBC newsroom; arts commentator Mark Lawson; and the BBC's business editor Robert Peston.