Joanna Killian has been appointed as chief executive of Surrey CC, subject to approval by full council next month.
Ms Killian was chief executive of Essex CC for 11 years until 2015 when she joined KPMG as head of local government and devolution.
Commenting on the news on Twitter, Ms Killian said she was “very excited but sad to be leaving great friends at KPMG”.
She replaces David McNulty who announced his retirement in July after eight years at the helm of the council.
Surrey leader David Hodge (Con) said: “Joanna will be a huge asset to Surrey and I hope Full Council will agree she is clearly the best person for the job. I am delighted we have been able to secure someone with so much experience both in the public and private sector.”
Ms Killian, who started her career at Redbridge LBC, has also worked for Tower Hamlets and Croydon LBCs and for the Audit Commission as director of local government performance and improvement.
In a statement she said: “It’s both a pleasure and a privilege to be joining Surrey. Clearly the staff and members have done some amazing things in recent years and the county is looking at a future with truly transformed public services.
“Working for KPMG has been fantastic but I can’t wait to get started in Surrey so we can continue to improve services and get on with the crucial work of shaping them around the modern needs of residents.”