Former international referee JoŽl Jutge has been appointed the IRB High Performance Match Official Manager, succeeding Paddy O'Brien in the key position.
The IRB announced on Friday that the Frenchman will take the helm as part of the process building towards Rugby World Cup 2015.
New Zealand's O'Brien is to oversee the development of Sevens match officials ahead of the sport's Olympic debut in 2016.
Jutge will start on September 3. A vastly experienced former international referee, the 46-year-old took charge of 35 Tests between 1996 and 2007 before retiring with a knee injury and later becoming referee manager for the French Rugby Federation.
"This is a key appointment for the IRB in what is a hugely important area of the game and JoŽl brings with him vast experience, great knowledge and expertise as well as enormous respect within the international Rugby family. This is an excellent opportunity," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.