Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, who was appointed yesterday and will join the Cabinet of Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha, heads Toshiba Thailand.
She is active in business, education, arts and culture, according to a brief biography online, and known to be anti-corruption.
A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she and former Phuket Police Commander Major General Chonsit Wadhnawarangkun have two children.
Major General Chonsit's tenure on Phuket began in December 2011 and was was short but action-packed.
The murder of Australian Michelle Smith - followed by the sentencing to life in prison of her two attackers within seven weeks - the ''body in the bin'' case involving Norwegian Stein Dokset, the assassination in the street of investigative journalist Wisut ''Ae'' Tangwittayaporn and the hatchet attack on Phuket resort owner-manager Vorasit ''Wan'' Issara all took place in Commander Chonsit's eight-month term.
His lasting legacy is the Patong Safety Zone, which encouraged individual police and community leaders to work together to control crime and saw the wider use of security cameras. The safety zone concept has been more widely introduced.
Serious crimes against individuals on Phuket appear to occur less often these days, although the perpetrators of several murders have yet to be caught.
Thailand's last Tourism and Sport Minister, Somsak Pureesrisak, drove the process under which tourists' complaints to honorary consuls and ambassadors were investigated and acted upon. He and pop star Rihanna shared the Phuketwan Phuket Person of the Year Award for 2013.
In 2013, European Union ambassadors met Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud on Phuket and sought dramatic improvements. Some of those changes have happened but Governor Maitree has yet to keep a promise to resume meeting regularly with Phuket's honorary consuls.