"Riad's expertise, which is a good blend of both corporate experience and motorsports knowledge, will provide the dynamic and success-oriented leadership that the Malaysian team requires," team principal Tony Fernandes said in Sepang.
"I'm confident that his knowledge of motorsports coupled with vast experience will contribute to the success of the 1Malaysia F1 Team."
Lotus F1 is a partnership between the Malaysian government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs.
"All of us in the 1Malaysia Formula One Team understand that this is a very important first step for the nation," Asmat said.
"We'll make it our key objective to build a very strong and robust foundation moving forward."