Council leader Eddie McAvoy said: 'We have appointed Michael because we believe he has the vision and drive to take this authority to the next stage of its development and we sincerely believe he is the right person to help us deliver the kind of high quality services we want for the people of South Lanarkshire.'
Earlier this year, South Lanarkshire won a commendation in LGC's Council of the Year Award.
Speaking after his appointment was announced, Mr Docherty (47) said he was delighted to be taking up his post at such a challenging time for local government with the Scottish parliament in place, the McIntosh Commission Report on the table and modernisation of councils firmly on the agenda.
Having began his accountancy training with the South of Scotland Electricity Board, Michael Docherty's moved into local government in 1974 with Coatbridge Burgh Council. Since then he has worked in a number of authorities including Stirling, Renfrew and Motherwell Districts before joining Hamilton DC as director of finance in 1992.
In 1993, he was appointed chief executive of Hamilton District where he worked with council leader Tom McCabe to introduce radical changes in the management and committee structures and identified the key tasks which needed to be done during the next three years. The multi million pound Hamilton Ahead Inititiative was among the developments which took root over that period.
Since reorgansiation, his responsibilities as depute chief executive and executive director of Enterprise Resources have included the development of many of the councils policies and strategies, best value, social inclusion, planning, economic development, roads and European and lottery funding.