Sawhney was appointed on Tuesday.
He previously was the CEO of Singapore Sports Hub, and managing director of ESPN Star Sports for 17 years. There, he also led the global broadcast partnership with the ICC for eight years.
“He brings 22 years of outstanding commercial experience to the ICC and will lead the delivery of our new global growth strategy,” ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said in a statement.
Sawhney will join the ICC next month to smooth the transition.
Richardson, a former South Africa wicketkeeper, was the ICC’s first general manager in 2002 and has been CEO since 2012.