Downey, who has been CEO of Tennis Canada for the past nine years, will replace Roger Draper, who leaves the position at the end of the month after more than seven years.
Downey, 56, will officially start his new job on January 6, with Nick Humby, the chief financial officer, acting as chief executive during an interim period.
David Gregson, president of the LTA, said of the appointment: “We set out to recruit a CEO with true success in business, with exceptional leadership credentials and ideally with significant knowledge of tennis. Michael demonstrably fits the bill perfectly and was the unanimous choice of our recruitment panel.”
Downey has broad experience of executive positions including regional president for Canada's largest brewery, Molson Canada.
He said of his appointment: "This is a huge privilege for me, at a fantastic time for British tennis. We have a tremendous opportunity in front of us, and it is an honour to be able to lead the work of the LTA in getting more people playing tennis."