David Prior is currently chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is a former deputy chairman and chief executive of the Conservative Party.
Mr Prior replaces Dame Jo Williams, who resigned from her role as CQC chairwoman in September but remained in post until a replacement was found.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: 'David will lead the CQC at an exciting time, where we need to relentlessly drive up quality in all services.'
Mr Prior said: ‘I am delighted to have been appointed chairman of the CQC. It is the only job that could have persuaded me to leave the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.’
‘The CQC must be an intelligent, risk driven, consistent and transparent regulator of care standards. It will be driven by common sense and judgement not box ticking and form filling.
‘It will be concerned both with the quality of hands-on clinical practice and with the culture, governance, openness and sustainability of the organisations that provide care.’
He added: ‘The combination of financial austerity with the growing frailty of an ageing population makes the role of the CQC really important. We must continuously improve care standards; there is no place for complacency. I am looking forward to it.’
CQC chief executive David Behan said: ‘I am looking forward to working closely with David Prior to ensure the CQC’s success in driving improvement across social care and health.
‘David’s experience within the NHS, as chairman of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust, as well as his wider governance and industry experience will prove vital in meeting the important regulatory challenges ahead.’
Mr Prior will take up his role as CQC chair on 28 January 2013.