France's new President Emmanuel Macron on Monday appointed Edouard Philippe as prime minister, announced Alexis Kohler, French president's secretary general.
Mr Philippe is close to Alain Juppe, a former prime minister who campaigned for the French presidency, but was beaten in a primary.
Success in the parliamentary elections is vital to his chances of pushing through his plans to cut state spending, boost investment and create jobs, after years of economic malaise and high unemployment.
He is also slated to travel to Germany later on Monday to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel. She built a solid relationship with Macron's predecessor, Socialist Francois Hollande, despite their political differences - notably with their joint effort to secure an accord to calm the fighting in eastern Ukraine in tense talks in Minsk, Belarus in 2015.
As well as deciding on the crucial figure of his first prime minister - which will send a powerful signal about his intentions - Macron has also had to grapple this week with the case of a problematic former colleague.
Born in Rouen in northern France to a left-wing family, Philippe started his political life as a Socialist member when he was a student before switching to the right.
By appointing him, Macron has passed over some loyal followers including Richard Ferrand, a former Socialist who was one of the first to join Macron's cause past year and is secretary general of REM.
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French newly elected President Emmanuel Macron (R) poses with his wife Brigitte Trogneux at the Elysee presidential Palace after the handover and prior to the inauguration ceremony on May 14, 2017 in Paris. Philippe is expected to act as a counterweight to the Socialist MPs who have already joined Macron's La République En Marche! party.
Edouard Philippe has been a close ally to Juppe, and his nomination, publicly approved by Juppe, is likely to trigger bitter infighting within the Republicans over which political line to follow during the campaign and beyond. "We regret it", LR said in a statement.
Philippe praised Cazeneuve's "quite exceptional" ministerial career and his "constant elegance". Reacting to Philippe's appointment, Juppe called the new prime minister "a man of great talent" with "all the qualities to handle the hard job".
Last week, the movement released a list of 428 candidates who will participate in June's parliamentary election.
Philippe has a diploma from the ENA, a prestigious political university in France.
Like Macron, France s new prime minister has little truck with the entrenched left-right divide.
Since 2010, Philippe has been mayor of Le Havre, France's second-largest port, which was a longtime communist stronghold before drifting to the center-right as its economy diversified. Philippe is also relatively unknown to voters, fulfilling Macron's campaign promise to repopulate French politics with new faces.