Former BP boss Tony Hayward will retire as director and chairman of Genel Energy after the company's annual general meeting in June.
Stephen Whyte has been appointed as chairman designate and non-executive director with immediate effect.
The firm's share price edged down 0.65 per cent at 77p in morning trading after the announcement.
The oil firm has struggled with the downturn in oil prices and extracting payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government. Last month, Genel said its flagship oil field, Taq Taq, will produce much less crude than expected, causing its stock to drop more than 20 per cent.
Whyte, who has 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, said: “Genel has operated in a very tough environment in recent years, but I believe the company has renewed momentum and significant opportunities in the portfolio.
"The fall in oil price impacted the entire industry, and that, coupled with the impact of the war against ISIS, put pressure on the finances of the already squeezed Kurdistan Regional Government. As the environment now improves, I look forward to working with the board to ensure that Genel has the best possible strategy for the future.”
Chief executive Murat Ozgul said:
It has been a great pleasure to have worked with Tony during his time at Genel. When we first started working together, the oil industry in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq was still in its infancy, without an export pipeline and there was a high degree of uncertainty over export sales.
Kurdistan now has a fully operational pipeline infrastructure exporting up to 600,000 barrels of oil per day, and Taq Taq and Tawke have a proven track record of international sales and significant cash generation.
Hayward left BP in 2010 following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.