Ahmed, who has worked at The Guardian and The Observer and is currently business editor at the Sunday Telegraph, will start in March. It was announced earlier this year that Mr Peston was becoming the corporation’s economics editor, replacing Stephanie Flanders who left broadcasting for a job at JP Morgan Asset Management.
Mr Ahmed said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the BBC. It is a great privilege to follow in the footsteps of Robert Peston and build on the great work the BBC does covering the business world.”
The director of BBC News, James Harding, said Ahmed would “bring intelligence, flair and incisive judgment to the BBC’s coverage of business”.
The corporation has also appointed Carrie Gracie as its first China editor.