Following an "extensive international search process", the Cambridge-based company said Doug Edwards will join the board with immediate effect.
As announced in March 2014, Ian Dinwoodie will retire in 2015 after serving as chief executive since 2003.
Edwards joins from Kodak (Eastman Kodak Company), where most recently he was president, digital printing and enterprise and has been a member of the executive board since 2006.
He started his career in the UK in a variety of technical roles with Ilford Ltd, ICI, Zeneca and International Paper before moving to the US 14 years ago with Kodak Polychrome Graphics (a joint venture company between Sun Chemical Corporation and Kodak).
He said: "It is a privilege to be asked to lead Xaar through this next phase of the company's development. Excellent progress has been made by the company over the last decade but the future opportunities ahead of the company in the world of digital printing are substantial, and I am pleased to return to the UK to take up this challenge."
Chairman Phil Lawler added: "I would like to express my thanks to Ian for his significant contribution to Xaar since joining the company in 2001. Following a thorough international search I am delighted to welcome Doug to Xaar. His appointment will strengthen the board, providing the experience necessary to lead the company through its next stage of development."