Tom Purves will join Rolls-Royce Motor Cars as its new chief executive officer in July.
He will take up his new position following the recent appointment of Ian Robertson to the BMW AG board of management. Robertson will remain chairman of Rolls-Royce.
Purves is currently chairman and CEO of BMW (US), a position he has held since May 1999. He is also president of BMW of North America.
Purves said: "It has been a pleasure to see Rolls-Royce flourish under the ownership of BMW Group.
"I am delighted to be taking the helm at Goodwood as the company continues to develop with the upcoming launch of the Phantom Coupé and the introduction of RR4 in 2010."
Purves' role in America will be taken over by Jim O'Donnell, who was recently appointed president of BMW North America and will now assume the position of chairman and CEO of BMW (US).