French President Emmanuel Macron appointed Jean Castex, who coordinated France's reopening strategy after the coronavirus blockade, as the country's new prime minister, according to the Elysee Palace.
Castex, with a relatively discreet profile, replaces Edouard Philippe, who resigned at the beginning of Friday. Macron is reorganizing the government to focus on restarting the economy after months of blockade.
Castex, 55, is a career civil servant who has worked with several governments. France's gradual reopening plan has been seen as generally successful so far.
Many members of the government must be replaced in the remodeling.
Macron's decision to reshape his centrist government comes after voters punished the former investment banker and his party in municipal elections across the country.
The elections revealed growing support for the Green Party and highlighted Macron's problems with left-wing voters. The only positive point for Macron was Philippe's victory in the port city of Le Havre in the north.
With only 21 months to go before the next presidential election, Macron wants to reposition himself, close aides say.
It is a political gamble for Macron to replace Philippe, who is more popular with the public than the president, say political analysts.
Philippe has shown constant loyalty during waves of unrest and may emerge as a presidential rival in 2022.