Mr Woodhead replaces Philip Thorpe, who joined FOX as a caretaker chief executive on secondment from the Securities and Futures Authority last autumn.
Mr Thorpe went to FOX after the previous chief executive and chairman resigned in the wake of a 'dummy trading' scandal.
FOX officials subsidised trading firms for losses of pounds 228,000 to create artificially high volume in the exchange's fledgling screen- based property futures market in an attempt to disguise falling turnover and liquidity.
Financial controls have since been tightened to plug the loopholes that allowed the irregular trading.
Mr Woodhead takes over on 1 October. A lawyer, he was seconded from Premier Consolidated Oilfields in 1980 to form the petroleum exchange, which he chaired for four years. At the same time he was managing director of Premier Man, a joint venture broking company owned by Premier Consolidated and ED and F Man International.
In 1986 Mr Woodhead formed the National Investment Group through the acquisition and merger of 12 stockbroking partnerships.
He was the chairman and chief executive of the NIG until the group was sold in 1990, since when he has been working on South African investments for a Swiss bank.
Michael Jenkins, FOX's non- executive chairman, said Mr Woodhead was 'an experienced market man' whose skills and knowledge would be invaluable in providing FOX with leadership in the coming years.
FOX declined to say how much Mr Woodhead would be paid, but added that his remuneration package would reflect the importance of his role.Reuse content