Telling reporters he was "both excited and humbled", English announced Paula Bennett as his deputy and economic development minister Steven Joyce as the person to take over his old job in the finance ministry.
The confirmation seals quite a turnaround for the South Islander, who lost to Labour's Helen Clark 13 years ago.
However, as finance minister under outgoing PM John Key, the National Party MP has overseen New Zealand's economy going from strength to strength. Last Monday ratings agency Moody's said the country will remain one of the fastest growing triple-A rated economies.
Originally elected in 2008, Key was nicknamed "Teflon John" by the media as his reputation appeared to be impenetrable despite a number of controversies.
Key was keen to bin the current New Zealand flag and held an unsuccessful referendum on the subject in November 2015.
Meanwhile as finance minister, English's key policies included privatising some of New Zealand's darling businesses including Air New Zealand, cutting income and corporate taxes, while increasing sales taxes.