Stephen Catchpole will step into the new role from April 4.
Mr Catchpole has been working as managing director of Teeside’s LEP Tees Valley Unlimited since 2011. Before that, he spearheaded the urban transformation of Wolverhampton as chief executive of the Wolverhampton Development Company.
He said: “I am delighted to be taking on this pivotal role at SEMLEP. The South East Midlands is a broad and diverse area, at the heart of the UK and bursting with growth potential.
“I look forward to the challenges ahead and to getting out and about, meeting leaders, businesses and organisations.”
SEMLEP chair Dr Ann Limb said: “Stephen has been a passionate ambassador for Tees Valley. We are confident he will lead the SEMLEP team with expertise and energy and help shape deliver sustainable business growth across the South East Midlands.”
Under his leadership TVU, one of the first LEPs in the country to gain government approval in 2010, oversaw schemes to create thousands of jobs, boost skills and drive investment.
Before joining the Wolverhampton Development Company Stephen worked as chief executive of Cambridgeshire Horizons, chief executive of Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Learning and Skills Council, commercial property director for both Trafalgar House and Dixons and chief executive of Stevenage, Forest Heath District Council and Hinckley and Bosworth Councils.
Stephen added: “I live in Leicestershire so before joining SEMLEP I lived away from my family during the week. Joining SEMLEP means the commute will be far shorter I will now enjoy living at home all week round. Fortunately my wife is happy with this too!”
SEMLEP’s current acting chief executive Hilary Chipping,in post since the departure of Daniel Mouawad last year, will resume her role as deputy chief executive.