The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has appointed the current chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as its new permanent secretary.

Alex Chisholm will take over the day-to-day operations and accounting of the department from 4 July following the departure of Stephen Lovegrove, who is to take up the same position at the Ministry of Defence.

Chisholm has enjoyed a varied career spanning several industries, acting as a mentor for start-up businesses and holding directorship and chief executive positions at a range of private businesses. He is also currently serving his twelfth year on the board of international charity, Breadline Africa.

He was appointed as commissioner and chairperson at the Irish regulation body, the Commission for Communications Regulation, in 2007 before taking his current position at the CMA in 2013.

His new appointment at DECC was made by the prime minister in agreement with cabinet secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood and energy secretary Amber Rudd, who said: “I greatly look forward to welcoming Alex as DECC’s new permanent secretary. His experience across the public and private sectors, including most recently at the CMA, will be hugely valuable to our department.”

Sir Heywood added: “I would like to congratulate Alex on his appointment to DECC. He has done an excellent job leading the Competition and Markets Authority over the last three years and will bring a wealth of commercial experience, a good understanding of the energy market and a strong track record of leadership to the permanent secretary role. I am very much looking forward to working with him.”

Commenting on his new role, Chisholm said: “I am delighted to be joining DECC at this important time for energy and climate change policy. I look forward to working with the department’s ministers and officials, and getting to grips with the many different challenges involved in ensuring the UK has secure, affordable and clean energy supplies.”