London: Frenchman Jean Todt was elected president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) on Friday.
The ex-Ferrari Formula One team boss, who stood against Finland`s former world rally champion Ari Vatanen, succeeds Max Mosley as head of world motorsport`s governing body.
"Jean Todt has been elected president of the FIA for a four-year term by the FIA General Assembly at its annual meeting in Paris," an FIA statement said.
Officials said Todt had won 135 votes to Vatanen`s 49, with 12 abstentions.
"It`s positive, very positive," seven-times Formula One champion Michael Schumacher told waiting reporters after the news was announced.
Todt had been backed throughout an increasingly acrimonious campaign by Mosley and had also received support from Schumacher and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Vatanen, a former European parliamentarian, stood on a platform of change and transparent governance to make a clean break from the Mosley era.
Mosley, whose private life became very public last year when it emerged that he had engaged in sado-masochistic sex sessions with prostitutes, had been FIA president since 1993.