Liès will succeed Tom de Swaan, who has been chair of Zurich’s board since 2013 and a member since 2006. de Swaan also chairs the governance, nominations and corporate responsibility committee.
Liès has been active in global insurance and reinsurance for almost 40 years, working in both the life and non-life segments.
Previously, he served as CEO of Swiss Re, a position he held until June 2016.
de Swaan said: “On behalf of the board, I look forward to welcoming Michel Liès to Zurich.”
He added: “This was a rigorous selection process, with high-quality candidates from across the business spectrum, which is evident in the fact that we are able to attract someone of [his] talents and experience.”