The Football Association has appointed Brian Barwick as its new chief executive.

The 50-year-old will leave his job as controller of ITV Sport, where has been since February 1998. He succeeds Mark Palios, who left the post in August.

Prior to working for ITV, broadcasters of the UEFA Champions League, Barwick spent 18 years at the BBC.

He will earn a reported £275,000 a year and will commence his role on 31 January next year after getting the nod over two other candidates, Richard Bowker and John Heaton.

Barwick said: “It’s been a momentous day for me. I’m looking forward to leading the FA into its next era.”

FA chairman Geoff Thompson said the appointment was good news for English football.

“We had a very strong shortlist of candidates,” said Thompson. “But, in Brian, we have found an exceptional individual with the qualities and experience to lead a talented team of people at the FA.

“The FA is committed to the continued development of the game at every level, the highest standards of governance and the successful redevelopment of Wembley Stadium. This is good news for the FA and for English football.”

This summer, Palios stood down from his post after claiming he had to take “ultimate responsibility for everything the FA has done in good times and bad”. His resignation came in the wake of revelations he and England coach Sven-Göran Eriksson had affairs with the same woman, FA secretary Faria Alam. Before today’s announcement, FA executive director David Davies had been in temporary charge.

Sports minister Richard Caborn welcomed Barwick’s appointment, saying: “I think this is the right step for the FA. Brian combines a great understanding of football and an excellent business pedigree.

“I have no doubt he will work closely with the review team on the modernisation of the FA and I look forward to our dealings in the near future.”

There were doubts over whether the FA would appoint a new chief executive because of fears that a forthcoming review could recommend restructuring the organisation.

Four of the FA’s 12-man main board are understood to have lobbied in favour of delaying the appointment of a successor to Palios.

The quartet – Premier League chairman Dave Richards, Southampton’s Rupert Lowe, Bolton’s Phil Gartside and Ipswich’s David Sheepshanks – argued an appointment would be premature as the review could revise the role of the chief executive.

They were out-voted by the six amateur representatives, as well as Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein and Football League representative Peter Heard.