Ian Livingston, BT's outgoing CEO, has been appointed Trade and Investment minister at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
He succeeds Lord Stephen Green of Hurstpierpoint, who is retiring from government. He was Trade minister for three years.
Lord Livingston will be responsible for carrying on Lord Green's work in growing the UK's exports and attracting further investment from overseas. He will report to Business secretary Vince Cable and Foreign secretary William Hague.
Lord Livingston, who was CEO of BT Group from 2008 to 2013, said: "The UK has some of the best and most dynamic companies in the world and has one of the most open business environments for investment. Last week I joined the Prime Minister on his trade mission to China and it highlighted the real opportunities for the UK and its companies.
"I am looking forward to the important work ahead, encouraging more UK firms to export and promoting this country as a world leading destination for inward investment."
Livingston joined BT in 2002, serving on the BT Group board as group finance director and then CEO of BT Retail. Prior to joining BT, he was group finance director at Dixons Group.
Gavin Patterson has been named the new CEO of BT Group.