Former England captain Trevor Brooking has been appointed as the director of football development by the Football Association.
Brooking suffered his first defeat as caretaker manager
The new role has been specifically created for Brooking, encompassing control of coaching and development of the game at all levels.
The 55-year-old is also expected to be closely involved in identifying long-term successors to England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Brooking will relinquish his role as a non-executive director at West Ham.
"Quite simply this was an opportunity I could not miss," Brooking told the FA's website.
"Leaving West Ham will be a huge wrench, but everybody knows my passion for English football as all levels.
"It will be a wonderful challenge to share this passion with the whole football community.
Eriksson welcomed Brooking's appointment.
He said: "It is clear that he has an excellent understanding of football and is committed to the game at levels. I am very much looking forward to working closely with him."
The role will have a wider brief than Howard Wilkinson's former position as the FA's technical director.
FA chief executive Mark Palios said: "Brooking's reputation inside and outside the game is of the very highest, and I know he sees this new role as the summit of his career."
Brooking took charge at West Ham as caretaker manager during Glenn Roeder's illness last season and before Alan Pardew's appointment in October.
In another change, the Daily Mail newspaper's sports editor, Colin Gibson, will take over as the FA's communications director in January.
Paul Barber, the current director of marketing and communications, and Steve Parkin, director of the national game, are leaving the FA.
Brooking's appointment is seen in some quarters as cover for England if they are ever between coaches.