Mr O'Connor, 48, will take over later this month, having recently completed a strategic management review of the troubled social work department, hit in the past year by industrial action. Morale in the department is said to be low.
Mr O'Connor, described as one of the city's most able officers, was seconded from education to the chief executive's office to lead a number of "best value" reviews.
As a senior education manager, he liaised on young people's services, welfare advice and community development.
Leader, page 10