Mr Cornes, formerly corporate director of environment with the council, had been acting chief executive for a number of weeks, following the departure of Sue Bruce to Aberdeen City Council.
A chartered civil engineer, Mr Cornes has worked in local government for a total of 24 years, and started in East Dunbartonshire as roads contracts manager in 1996.
Mr Cornes said he was privileged to have been given the opportunity to help take the council forward.
“There are many challenges ahead of this and every Scottish council, but I am confident that I have the right people and the right teams around me to deliver the very best services for local people,” he said.
“We are a Council with a good reputation and I will work hard with Elected Members, colleagues and our partner organisations to build on the good work that is already being done.”
Council Leader Rhondda Geekie (Lab) said she was delighted with Mr Cornes’s appointment “Throughout his career at East Dunbartonshire, Gerry has demonstrated exceptional levels of commitment and professionalism together with a positive leadership style that gets things done,” she said.
“We need a strong individual of that high standard as our chief executive and I am sure that Gerry will take to the role effortlessly and contribute a great deal to the future success of the Council.
"I look forward to working with him in his new role and I know that employees will give him every support.”