Whyte had been in the role temporarily since the departure of Zitah McMillan in December. He was appointed after "open competition", the FCA said.
Whyte’s other previous roles include head of corporate and public relations at the BBC and deputy director of corporate affairs at News UK. He was the founder of consultancy Kingsnorth Communications.
Whyte joined the FCA last July as head of external and internal relations.
His appointment is one of many announced at the organisation, including Mark Steward as the new director of enforcement and market oversight and Barbara Frohn as director of risk and compliance oversight. Jo Hill has been named director for markets intelligence, data and analysis, while Marc Teasdale was appointed director of market oversight.
It follows a restructure of the financial watchdog announced in December to coincide with an expanded brief that included regulation of consumer credit.
The FCA said: "These appointments represent the next stage of the implementation of the FCA’s new strategic approach and the associated new leadership structure which was announced last December."
The FCA was formed in 2013 following the abolition of the Financial Services Authority, as one part of a new system of financial services regulation following the banking crisis.