He will oversee a five strong slate of returning dramas: EastEnders, Holby City, Casualty, Doctors and River City.
The new drama boss has been at the BBC since 1996. He has been exec producing Holby City and Casualty since 2013, and has also worked on Eastenders.
“Continuing drama is the lifeblood of the drama industry and a power-house of new diverse creative talent and writing,” Kent said.
“I’m really excited to be working with the teams, to continue our work in nurturing and training new directors and writers and having enormous fun making the shows.”
Kent reports to Nick Betts, director, BBC Studios Scripted. He said: “I’m delighted to have someone with Ollie’s editorial and managerial experience in this newly-created role.
“BBC Studios’ multi-award-winning continuing drama brings audiences of more than eight million together every day and is a crucial part of BBC Studios’ creative offering, continually pushing the boundaries editorially and technically.”
In related BBC news, Nick Andrews has been appointed head of commissioning at BBC Wales.
He has been upped from head of development and will commission across linear TV and the iPlayer streaming and catch-up platform.