Thierry Garnier will replace Véronique Laury, who announced in March that she was stepping down after just four years in charge as she struggled to turn around the performance of the business.
Kingfisher, which owns Screwfix and B&Q, said Garnier would join the company in autumn.
Garnier has spent the past 20 years at French supermarket Carrefour in different senior roles.
Kingfisher says Garnier stood out from strong list of candidates
Kingfisher said Garnier has a track record of implementing business transformation in the face of “significant competitive pressure and sector disruption”.
“In what was a rigorous recruitment process, Thierry stood out for the board from a strong list of candidates due to his recognised operational know-how at a multi-national retail business, his delivery of long-term value creation, and his experience in driving leading edge digital innovation, most recently in China,” said Kingfisher chairman Andy Cosslett.
“At Kingfisher he will take the reins of a strong and profitable business, and one which is also transforming to better serve its customers.
“In Thierry, we are convinced that we have found the right individual with the right skills to drive success from the platform that Véronique has established at Kingfisher.”
Shares rose 2.8% to 211p in morning trading.
Garnier could bring fresh thinking to Kingfisher, says analyst
AJ Bell investment director, Russ Mould, said the fact that Garnier hasn't got a background in the DIY sector might bring some fresh thinking to Kingfisher but don't expect a radical reshaping of the business any time soon.
"Garnier will need to spend time trying to understand its problems and coming up with a solution," he said.
"Given how the previous CEO couldn’t get it right, Garnier will need to be a genius at his trade otherwise Kingfisher could be singing the same old song."
Kingfisher is in the fourth year of a five-year transformation plan under Laury but its troubled French business Castorama continues to drag on its performance.
In the year to 31 January 2019, pre-tax profit plunged 52.8% to £322mln and like-for-like sales dropped 1.6% to £11.6bn as declines at B&Q in the UK and Castorama in France offset growth at Screwfix in the UK and Brico Depot in France and Poland.