Trevor Matthews is to replace Mark Hodges as Aviva UK chief executive.
Hodges resigned from the firm to join Towergate Insurance as group chief executive.
Matthews is currently vice chairman of Friends Life and was previously chief executive of Friends Provident Holdings UK.
Aviva says Matthews will take up the role as soon as possible and by the end of 2011 at the very latest.
Aviva group chief executive Andrew Moss says: “After a successful career at Aviva I am very sorry to see Mark leave, but we understand that he wishes to take on a different challenge at this stage of his career.
Trevor Matthews says: “It is a privilege to join Andrew Moss and the Aviva leadership team. Over the coming years I am confident that Aviva UK will continue to strengthen its position as the country’s undisputed leader in insurance.”
David Barral and David McMillan will remain Aviva UK Life chief executive and chief executive UK General Insurance respectively.