Former Sport Australia boss Kate Palmer will oversee a merger of the two major track and field organisations in the country.
Palmer has been appointed as chief executive of OneAthletics for the next 12 months as Athletics Australia and Little Athletics Australia prepare to merge.
The two bodies will become Australian Athletics in the merger process.
Current Athletics Australia chief Darren Gocher will depart in April after four years in the job.
Palmer was chief executive of Sport Australia from 2017-20 after a 10-year stint at Netball Australia.
"I ... look forward to working with the athletics community around the nation to transform athletics into the largest participation sport in the country," Palmer said in a statement on Tuesday.
"There is a place for everyone in athletics and the vision for athletics in Australia is clear, to create a pathway that will drive life-long involvement from Little Athletics to juniors, seniors and masters."
Athletics Australia and Little Athletics Australia had previously been run as separate entities.
But Gocher's removal, combined with the resignation in December last year of Little Athletics' chief executive Martin Stillman, presented both boards an opportunity for a leadership restructure, Athletics Australia president Mark Arbib said.
The boards resolved to appoint a joint chief executive for the OneAthletics process.
A vote to merge the two organisations will be held in October this year.
Following the expected vote to merge, Australian Athletics will then start a recruitment process for the appointment of the chief executive of the new body.
Australian Associated Press