Richard Deverell, previously chief operating officer at CBBC, has been made controller of the corporation's children's channels.
Mr Deverell moved to the channel in 2005
"Richard is an outstanding leader and strategic thinker," said BBC creative director Alan Yentob.
Mr Deverell said he felt "very proud" to be given the opportunity to lead the department, which goes under the name BBC Children's.
Anne Gilchrist has been appointed CBBC creative director.
"For me this is the best job in children's broadcasting and I'm enormously excited about working with Richard and our in-house and indie talent to realise a new creative vision for CBBC," she said.
The creative director post is a new one which has been created to push the channel forward as a multi-media brand.
Mr Deverell, who is married with three young children, spent 10 years in BBC News, firstly in strategy and marketing, before heading up BBC News Interactive.
He told the BBC News website: "My immediate priority will be to focus, with Anne Gilchrist, on the creative renewal of our two brands, CBBC and Cbeebies.
"On both we need programmes that are achingly distinctive and delight their audiences."
He became chief operating officer of CBBC in 2005 under controller Alison Sharman, who recently joined ITV.
"I am confident he will build the output and reputation of the department both nationally and internationally," added Mr Yentob.
The BBC has two digital children's channels, CBBC and Cbeebies, and contributes output to BBC One and BBC Two.