John Cridland, who will replace the organisation's director general Richard Lambert in January, joined the organisation in 1982, and has led the CBI's call to toughen strike laws by requiring a higher worker ballot threshold.
Cridland said he was also optimistic that the government would prioritise the issuing of visas to those with job offers and said corporation tax needed to be simplified further.
"We've seen businesses leaving the UK because they can get more competitive tax rates elsewhere in the world," he said.
"We're seeing companies facing problems in bringing in new staff which limits their ability to grow in the UK and we've got businesses that are nervous about industrial action."
CBI Scotland's chairwoman, Linda Urquhart, said Cridland was "very able" and an "excellent choice for the role".