Brazil's finance minister has named the chief economist at the Itau Unibanco bank to head the central bank amid the country's worst economic crisis in decades.

Israeli-born Ilan Goldfajn also has been a director at the central bank worked at the International Monetary Fund.

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles announced his appointment on Tuesday. He replaces Alexandre Tombini, who had served since 2011 under now-suspended President Dilma Rousseff.

Meirelles became Brazil's economy boss last week after interim President Michel Temer took office.

He also named a key opposition economist to his team: That's Mansueto Almeida, who had worked with defeated presidential candidate Aecio Neves. He'll be responsible for assessments of the economy.