Peter Moores has made a dramatic return as England head coach.
Andy Flower's replacement was announced by Paul Downton, managing director of England cricket, at Lord's today.
It means present Sussex coach Mark Robinson, who applied for the position and was interviewed last week, has not been successful in getting the top job.
Current Sri Lanka coach Paul Farbrace is expected to link up with Moores and England as a ''senior assistant'' imminently, but Downton would not confirm the 46-year-old as the man in the frame.
He added: ''We are in advanced negotiations to appoint an assistant coach but, at this stage, with due respect to his current employers, we're not going to make an announcement on that. I hope we will be able to do so soon.
''Having tried the system where we split the roles - and everybody involved didn't think that worked - a senior assistant seemed to be the best way forward.
''Peter's spoken to the individual involved and we're very comfortable that if we can make that appointment it will work.''
Moores, the 51-year-old Lancashire coach previously held the job between 2007 and 2009 but was dismissed after disappointing on-field results and a damaging personality clash with then captain Kevin Pietersen, who was also deposed.
With Pietersen's international career now over, however controversially, the way is clear for Moores to return.
In 2003 Moorescoached Sussex to their first County Championship title in their history, two years after winning the Division Two title.
Current limited-overs coach Ashley Giles would appear to be out of a job.
The England and Wales Cricket Board's specification for the job made clear the successful applicant would be in charge of all three formats - Flower having advised the decision to split the role in two was unsuccessful.
Giles, the Ashes-winning spinner, was overwhelming favourite to edge out Moores, as well as the likes of Nottinghamshire's Mick Newell, Sussex's Robinson and Australian Trevor Bayliss, until a below-par performance at the World Twenty20, and in particular a humiliating loss to associate nation Holland, saw his stock plummet.
Sri Lanka's English head coach Paul Farbrace is understood to be Moores' No.2. The appointment of Moores represents a gamble by the ECB, with his previous reign hardly a high water mark in recent years.
But he is a well respected figure in the domestic game and has impressed with his work at Lancashire, not least in 2011 when he won the Red Rose county's first outright championship since 1934.
While there were reports at the time that Pietersen was not the only senior player who was unimpressed with Moores' methods, he can also claim credit for the emergence on the international stage of Matt Prior, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad.
He was also an important figure in restoring James Anderson to the Test side and England's senior bowler remains a firm fan.
England host Sri Lanka and India this summer, two potentially tricky assignments even on home turf. but the new coach's first task will be a one-day international against Scotlandin Aberdeen on May 9.
Moores said in a statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board: ''I am very excited about the prospect of returning to a role I have done before and to building a strong relationship with (captain) Alastair Cook and the rest of the players and staff. In any time of change there comes opportunity and this is one I can't wait to get stuck into.''
England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton added: ''Peter has a great reputation around the world as an outstanding coach and he will return to the role as England head coach with a great deal more experience and understanding of the challenges that the role presents. There is no doubt that he is the leading English coach of his generation and I believe that this is his time.
''His domestic credentials are beyond reproach having won the County Championship at Sussex and then repeating the feat at Lancashire, whose 2011 triumph was their first for 77 years. He was also the lead at the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough between 2005 and his appointment as England coach in 2007.
''In his time with England he gave Test debuts to Stuart Broad, Matt Prior and Graeme Swann as well as helping to further the international careers of players like the current England captain Alastair Cook and James Anderson. He also brought Andy Flower into the England set-up as well as influential individuals like Mushtaq Ahmed as spin bowling coach.
''I was hugely impressed by his vision for the future of the England team and I am looking forward to working with him in the years to come.
''I would personally like to thank Ashley Giles for the job he did with the limited-overs squads in the last 18 months. It was a really difficult decision to make as we had an outstanding field but the panel were unanimous in the choice of Peter and I know that support will be echoed around the counties.''