This appointment follows the successful completion of the integration of the inward investment and international trade teams in the region under a single management structure under the leadership of George Kieffer as chairman and James Gray as chief executive.
Kieffer will continue to serve the company as a non-executive director.
Sir Robin, who lives in Cambridge, has been a director of the company for a year.
He is non-executive deputy chairman of Dr Foster Ltd, chairman of RSCG Apex Communications and is a former Perm-anent Secretary at the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) and the Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). He is a Council Member of the Institute of Directors.
George Kieffer said: “The board has found an ideal candidate from a strong field of applicants to take us forward and build on the company’s substantial achievement for the benefit of the region since its formation, including the far-reaching restructuring carried out over the last 15 months.
“We are excited by his plans for the organisation.”
Sir Robin added: “Inward investment and international trade have never been more important for the prosperity of the East of England.
“So I’m particularly pleased to take on the chairmanship of EEI at this exciting juncture.
“I’ll do all I can to work with businesses and other stakeholders to help drive up the region’s competitiveness.”