Mike Kimberley takes up the post continuing a 22 year association with the Norfolk firm. He was managing director from 1976 to 1983.
He took over as CEO on the death of Lotus founder Colin Chapman in 1982.
Kimberley worked in the interim for Lamborghini.
He said: “Lotus has always shown great innovation and vision. As a team at Lotus we are determined to realise the company’s full potential and justify Proton’s confidence in us.”
This conviction will manifest itself in May 2008 with the launch of a Lotus/Proton high performance model and then in December that year with a new mid-range Lotus.