Two Dorset councils which agreed to share services in a bid to save £8.5m have appointed their new joint chief executive.
David Clarke is the new boss of both West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.
The two councils will also share officers and have said the combined workforce of about 850 people will "reduce" as a result.
Mr Clarke was previously West Dorset's chief executive for seven years.
'Severe financial climate'
The councils will continue to be two separate authorities, each setting its own budget and council tax, a spokesperson said.
He said: "The WestWey Partnership is the most significant change for our two authorities in the past 35 years.
"Both West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland councils have superb staff and by working as one team we can meet the challenges facing local government.
"The savings we will make over the next five years will be used to protect and develop frontline services, even in the severe financial climate the two councils face as a result of the national Spending Review."