Cologne appointed former Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt coach Armin Veh as managing director.
Jorg Schmadtke left Cologne in October following their winless start in the Bundesliga. The club has yet to win a match in the Bundesliga.
"I see this as a major challenge and opportunity to make something happen at this fascinating traditional soccer club," said Veh.
"We have found a man for the position who fills our criteria perfectly," Cologne president Werner Spinner said. "He has had great success and brings a lot of experience with him, also in crisis situations."