Saudi Arabia's King Salman ordered a government reshuffle on Thursday, appointing a new foreign minister and refreshing other top posts, after the global fallout over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Assaf replaces Adel al-Jubeir, who was appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Ibrahim al-Assaf, who is well known to worldwide investors, will become foreign minister.
The changes, which impact several key ministries, come as the king and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were looking to announce a major reshuffle following Khashoggi's killing by Saudi agents in Istanbul.
In November, the USA senators passed two resolutions blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Khashoggi's killing and calling on Washington to stop any aid to the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
Born in 1949, Al-Assaf completed his BA in economics and political science from King Saud University in Riyadh in 1971.
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Turki al-Sheikh, a close aide to the crown prince, was removed as the head of the kingdom's sports commission and appointed entertainment authority chief, while Ahmed al-Khatib was named tourism authority chief. Rotana is owned by billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who was also detained at the Ritz past year and later released. After denying any knowledge of Khashoggi's death for weeks, Saudi authorities eventually settled on the explanation that he was killed in an operation masterminded by former advisers to Prince Mohammed.
Sheikh's appointment as head of entertainment means he no longer oversees a cybersecurity and programming body that was led by Saud al-Qahtani, a close aide to Prince Mohammed who was sacked from his post and sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for helping to mastermind the plot in Istanbul that led to Khashoggi's killing.
Thursday's decree also called for the establishment of the oil-rich kingdom's first government agency devoted to space exploration, to be headed up by Sultan bin Salman.
In other changes, Turki al-Shabanah, an executive at broadcaster Rotana, was appointed as the new information minister, replacing Awwad al-Awwad - who was named as an advisor to the royal court. The force is tasked primarily with the protection of the Al Saud ruling family.
Many - including the US Senate and Central Intelligence Agency - point to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the person responsible for the assassination, though Riyadh has maintained that these accusations are unsubstantiated.