Gianni Infantino has succeeded fellow Swiss Sepp Blatter as president of world football's governing body Fifa.
The Uefa secretary general polled 115 votes, 27 more than closest rival Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa.
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein (four votes) and Jerome Champagne (0) were third and fourth respectively.
Blatter, who had led Fifa since 1998, stood down last year and was later suspended from football for six years for breaching ethics guidelines.
Infantino is a 45-year-old lawyer from Brig in the Valais region of Switzerland, less than six miles from Blatter's home town of Visp.
He entered the presidential race when it became clear that Michel Platini, boss of European football's governing body Uefa, could not stand.
"I will work tirelessly to bring football back to Fifa and Fifa back to football," he said. "This is what we want to do."
He added: "I feel a lot of emotion and have not realised yet what has happened today. It is still very fresh and it's been a long and exciting journey and I probably need some time to chill out and see what has happened."
The election was due to be fought between five candidates, but South African Tokyo Sexwale withdrew before voting began in Zurich.