John Foley, former managing director of Glasgow City Council-owned City Building, will take up his post with the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) on Tuesday for six months and will earn pro-rata up to £110,000.
A qualified chartered management accountant, Mr Foley has also held a senior financial post with newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror.
He takes over the interim role from Andrea Quinn who, as announced in June, will be leaving SPA later in September.
Ms Quinn's decision to resign came on the same day as the departure of finance director Eamon Hegarty and John Fox-Davis, the strategic planning director.
Questions have already been asked about Mr Foley's experience to run an organisation facing the challenges of the Police Authority and merger of the eight regional forces.
One source said: "He left his last post after six months and that raises question marks. By all accounts he is a very good finance guy but this is about more than organising budgets.
A former colleague added: "There is a degree of incredulity around the wider council at John Foley's new job and the scale of it. He was never sacked or was going to be sacked, but his exit came at a time when it was mutually beneficial for him to move on from City Building.
"People might question whether he is a team player but he is a good networker. And of course interim chief executives have a habit of becoming permanent.
"But I don't think we will get the drama of the fights between Sir Steve House (Police Scotland chief constable) and Vic Emery (SPA chairman)."
Mr Foley was successor to Willie Docherty, husband of the new Glasgow Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty, following a one-man revolt by former City Building chairman Jim Todd, who had been recently axed as a Labour candidate for the local election.
Mr Todd went against his party leadership wishes and used his casting vote to give the job to Mr Foley rather than City Building's director of operations, before immediately clearing his desk and leaving his chairman's job.
Mr Emery said: "We set out to quickly recruit an experienced interim chief executive so that we have a smooth handover and transition with the departing CEO, and we have successfully delivered that with John's appointment.
"John comes to us with a strong track record of financial management and strategy. That mix of skills and experience will be necessary for the two main priorities we will be setting for him in this period.
"First, he will work closely with Police Scotland to ensure we continue to keep a strong focus on meeting the significant budget challenge in this financial year, and the development of the sustainable three-year financial plan for the future.
"Second, he will oversee the delivery of a permanent organisational structure for the SPA that will meet the 'steady state' organisational requirements we have been developing over the summer."