Falls Church-based CSC has named Mike Lawrie, chief executive of London-based information technology company Misys, president and chief executive, replacing Michael W. Laphen.

Rodney F. Chase, a director on CSC’s board, has been appointed non-executive chairman of the board of directors and will assume his role once Lawrie takes over as CEO, set to occur by March 31.

The appointment of Lawrie comes at a key time for CSC, which is under investigation for possible accounting errors by the Securities and Exchange Commission and planning to record a $1.5 billion charge related to work it was doing in the United Kingdom. The company also saw its corporate credit rating lowered by Standard & Poor’s early last month.

According to CSC, Lawrie has led Misys, which focuses on IT for the banking industry, since late 2006. He briefly served as a general partner at San Francisco-based private investment firm ValueAct Capital and as chief executive of Siebel Systems. He spent 27 years at IBM, serving in multiple roles, including senior vice president and group executive overseeing worldwide sales and distribution, general manager for the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa operations and general manager of industries for operations in Asia Pacific.

CSC announced in October that Laphen planned to retire by Oct. 31, 2012. The company’s board formed a search committee and hired an executive recruiting firm.

“We were looking for a transformational leader, and [Lawrie] certainly meets the bill,” said Irving W. Bailey II, lead independent director of CSC’s board of directors, in an interview Tuesday.

He said Lawrie knows CSC’s business, meaning “there’s not going to be any learning curve for him.”

Laphen has been with CSC, which specializes in information technology for both the commercial and public sectors, since 1977. Under his leadership, CSC in 2008 decided to relocate its corporate headquarters from El Segundo, Calif., to Falls Church.