At the parent group, which is behind global drama success Deutschland 83, he will work alongside UFA co-CEOs Wolf Bauer and Nico Hofmann, and Licher, who is leaving in April.
A longer-term succession plan revealed in September last year will see Hoffman become sole CEO in 2017, with Bauer stepping back to focus on production at that point.
Degen has been in his current role at serials and soap operas arm UFA Serial Drama since 2005. He has also overseen Hungarian UFA Magyarorzszág (Barátok Kötz, aka Among Friends) in a production position as managing director.
His first post was in the electronic media at FremantleMedia parent Bertelsmann, before switching to Hamburg-based UFA Holding, rising to run the department.
Degen then moved to UFA Serial Drama (then known as GrundyUFA) to run commercial in Potsdam-Babelsberg.
UFA, which was created in Berlin in 1917, currently comprises limited and serial drama, light entertainment, formats, factual and digital divisions.