Linwood will be responsible for delivering the BBC's technology strategy, in a role which encompasses the maintenance of the technical infrastructure behind all BBC output, managing the technical aspects of West One and MediaCity:UK in Salford and overseeing the Corporation's IT requirements.
He joins the BBC from Yahoo!, where he was Senior Vice President of International Engineering, overseeing a staff of 1600 located across 22 countries, with responsibility for the development, deployment and delivery of all the company's services outside the US.
This included the development of some of Yahoo!'s most successful consumer products including social networking, social media and user generated content through to more traditional web properties such as media, ecommerce and search.
In total, Linwood brings with him 28 years' experience of software engineering, including more than four years with Yahoo! and 11 years with Microsoft.
BBC Future Media & Technology director Erik Huggers said: "As the BBC moves into the Digital Age, more of our content is being produced and distributed using digital platforms, placing a greater emphasis on software engineering. With 28 years' experience as a software executive, John's appointment adds critical expertise to our proud broadcast engineering heritage."
John Linwood said: "I look forward to bringing my experience in software engineering to help the BBC take full advantage of the latest technologies across the broadcast production and distribution chain."
Linwood starts on Wednesday 1 April.