Currently chief executive at Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv, Bain brings with him experience from both the football and business worlds, having strengthened Maccabi’s commercial and financial results.
Prior to working with the Israeli team, Bain was CEO at Rangers Football Club and a director of the Scottish Premier League.
Sunderland AFC chairman, Ellis Short, said: “I am delighted to welcome Martin to Sunderland. With his commercial experience, commitment to working closely with local communities and impressive track record of building winning teams on and off the pitch, I know that we have someone that can take us forward.
“Martin will strive to transform our financial performances, which we acknowledge must improve significantly, into a stable and successful model, to give us a club that we and our fans can be proud of."
Martin Bain added: “It is a great honour and privilege to become CEO at a club with Sunderland’s rich history and heritage. I have been fortunate to be a part of a team that has brought great success to two clubs with passionate supporter bases and I am excited by the opportunity to do the same at Sunderland.
“Sunderland fans are recognised as some of the most loyal and passionate in football. The backing they gave the team in the two recent vital home games played an integral part in the victories.
“Such tremendous support deserves a successful club and that is what we will aim to give them.
“I am looking forward to working closely with the chairman and everyone involved with the club, and will endeavour to do everything possible to help the club to realise its potential.”