Chris Carson will lead the Metro workforce and oversee the operation of trains and stations within a wholly-owned Nexus subsidiary.
He brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously worked in senior roles on the Channel Tunnel rail link and the East Coast mainline.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages theTyne and Wear Metro, will take direct control of Metro operations on 1 April.
Chris, 45, of Sunderland, said: “I’m really looking forward to this new role.
“I’m from the north east and I’ve used the Metro for many years, so I always wanted a job here as part of my career in the railway industry.
“The challenge is to continue to build on the improving levels of performance. I will be working closely with the new Metro leadership team on this.
“Performance hasn’t been where it should be over the last few years and the aim is make it better for our customers.”
The role has been created ahead of the Metro operating contract with DB Regio coming to an end.
Chris, the Operations and Safety Director at DB Regio since February 2016, will transfer into the new job when the Metro operation is officially handed back to Nexus.
His career has seen him occupy management roles for both rail infrastructure and operating companies.
Director of Rail and Infrastructure at Nexus, Raymond Johnstone, said: “I am delighted to welcome Chris Carson into this newly created role and I look forward to working with him on improving the performance of the Tyne and Wear Metro service.
“Chris has had a long and successful career in the UK’s rail industry and he has invaluable experience. He led the preparation and delivery of the successful Metro service for last year’s Great North Run.
“Our aim going forward is to build on Metro’s improving performance levels and hit the high punctuality targets that we set.”
Nexus has appointed a new Metro Services Director with more than 20 years of experience in the UK railway industry.