Cologne appointed former Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt coach Armin Veh as managing director on Wednesday, filling the job left vacant by Jorg Schmadtke's departure in October.
The struggling club said that the 56-year-old Veh, who led Stuttgart to the Bundesliga title in 2007, signed a contract through June 2020.
"I see this as a major challenge and opportunity to make something happen at this fascinating traditional soccer club," said Veh, who has also coached Hamburg and had a dual role as coach and managing director at Wolfsburg in 2009-10.
Schmadtke left Cologne by mutual consent on Oct. 24 following the team's winless start in the Bundesliga.
The club have yet to win after 14 matches, and they parted company with Peter Stoger as coach on Sunday after the 2-2 draw at Schalke the day before. Under-19 coach Stefan Ruthenbeck was appointed until the league's winter break.
"We have found a man for the position who fills our criteria perfectly," Cologne president Werner Spinner said. "He has had great success and brings a lot of experience with him, also in crisis situations."
Both Schmadtke and Stoger joined Cologne in 2013 and oversaw the side's promotion to the Bundesliga as second division champion in their first season. They oversaw steady progress in each of the subsequent seasons in the Bundesliga, culminating in fifth place and Europa League qualification last season.
However, injuries, bad luck and poor decisions have all had an effect this season. Eleven losses in 14 games leave Cologne last with three points.