Gary Smith has been elected general secretary of the GMB union after winning just over half the vote in a ballot of members.
Mr Smith, the union’s Scottish regional secretary, succeeds Tim Roache, who resigned last year after a series of allegations were made against him, which he has denied.
Edinburgh-born Mr Smith beat the two other candidates, Rehana Azam and Giovanna Holt.
He said: “It is the honour of my life to be elected GMB general secretary.
“A huge thank you to all GMB members. Thank you for listening to the different visions offered by the candidates, and thank you for your continuing membership of our great union.
“You are the reason this union exists and by working together, we can repay your trust by building a better, bigger and stronger union.
“GMB is a great union. I joined as a 16-year-old gas apprentice and owe this union so much. It has educated me, supported me, and become a wonderful second family.
“Throughout my entire adult working life, I’ve tried to repay this huge debt by fighting hard, every day, to improve the working lives of our members. As general secretary, I promise to lead with the same strength and energy.”
Mr Smith won just under 31,000 votes compared with just under 17,000 for Ms Azam and 15,525 for Ms Holt.
The turnout was 10.6%.
Mr Smith added: “We must shed the practices and cultures that have blighted us in recent times and rediscover all that is good about this union.
“We have fantastic people working here, talented and committed activists, and incredible members who pay their hard-earned money to be part of an organisation that fights for justice in the workplace.”