Vanguard Group announced Thursday that it has named F. William McNabb, its president and chief executive officer, to succeed John J. Brennan on Jan. 1 and become the third chairman in the firm's history.

McNabb, 52, became the firm's chief executive on Aug. 31, 2008, after a six-month transition plan. Thursday's move was part of that transition plan, a Vanguard spokesman said.

Brennan, 55, will no longer have executive responsibilities at Vanguard but will still be involved in industry affairs, such as working with regulators and legislators on money market fund issues, the spokesman said.

Brennan, who has been with Vanguard since 1982, was its CEO from January 1996 to August 2008 and has been chairman since January 1998.

McNabb has held various senior positions, including directing the institutional and retail divisions.

Vanguard, which is based in Valley Forge, Pa., had $1.3 trillion of assets under management at Sept. 30.

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