Blythe, 45, former chief executive of the North and Mid-Cheshire Training and Enterprise Council, said he hoped to focus on professional development and life-long learning to help make membership of the institute more attractive.
The appointment comes halfway through the institute’s 10-year plan to double membership, Meeting the Challenge.
The CIOB had 32 000 members when the program was launched in 1995; it now has 39 000. At the TEC, Blythe managed a team supporting a client base of 11 000, including global companies such as ICI and United Utilities. He also spent 15 years working in financial roles for companies such as Birmid Qualcast Foundries and Dunlop. He replaces Keith Banbury, who left after 28 years.