Northamptonshire have appointed former Warwickshire batsman David Smith as their new chief executive. He will take up his role at Wantage Road in the new year having held the same position at Leicestershire.

Smith scored 8,743 runs for Warwickshire between 1973 and 1985 and replaces Mark Tagg, who left at the end of October after eight years in the role.

"I'm delighted to have been appointed," said Smith. "The club has made real progress both on and off the field over the past few years. The ground development has improved the facilities on offer to all visitors to the County Ground."

Northamptonshire led Division Two of the County Championship for large parts of last season before missing out on promotion on the final day. They also appeared at T20 finals day in 2009. "This indicates a good quality playing staff," said Smith. "I am looking forward to working with the coach David Capel and the board of directors to bring future success to the club.''

After retiring, Smith spent nine years on the committee at Warwickshire before becoming chief executive at Leicestershire in January 2008. He also has other experience in the UK leisure industry, most notably with Blackpool Winter Gardens.

Northamptonshire chairman Martin Lawrence believes Smith is the man to take the club forward. "We are delighted to have David on board," said Lawrence. "His appointment ensures Northants have a bright future ahead and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome him to the club."