The former Croatian international defender has signed a three-year deal at the Boleyn Ground.
Replacing previous boss Sam Allardyce, the ex defender told the Hammers website that he fondly recalled his days as a footballer in East London.
“I remember West Ham as a special club. I love these kinds of special clubs," he told the club website. "My last club, Besiktas, was that kind of club. It’s not about the size – West Ham is big Club – there is something special about them - they are a cult clubs.
“It is a great place to play and I felt like I was at home. It is a big privilege and a big responsibility to now be manager and I hope that I will prove it to the Board, players and fans."
Harry Redknapp brought the Croatian to the Premier League in January 1996, signing him from German outfit Karlsruher for £1.3 million, and Bilic made his debut in a 1-0 win away to rivals Spurs.
The 46-year-old spent 18 months in East London, playing 54 times, before moving to Everton in the summer of 1997.
Bilic's managerial career saw him first take charge at hometown club Hajduk Split, before progressing to the Croatian national team via the Under-21 side. He was in charge of the Blazers for six years, helping the country to Euro 2008 at the expense of Steve McClaren's England.
While in charge of his country, Bilic helped the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzuckic and Dejan Lovren become international stars.
Spells in charge of Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow and Turkish giants Besiktas followed, with Bilic leaving Istanbul at the end of the season just finished after guiding the Black Eagles to a third place finish.
Unsurprisingly, his appointment generated a lot of excitement among West Ham supporters.
Below are some choice reactions on Twitter to news of Bilic's arrival:
Well it's official Bilic is our new manager,source west ham website,let's get behind him and support this appointment coyi— West Ham (@Bubblesfanzone) June 9, 2015
I could not be happier with Slaven Bilic at West Ham. I know you were all wondering what I felt about it. #COYI— John Smith (@verypopularname) June 9, 2015
Slaven Bilic is only the 15th permanent manager in West Ham's 120 year history and arguably the most important appointment to date! #COYI— Simon Dawkins (@simondawkins23) June 9, 2015
Welcome back to West Ham Slaven Bilic as the new manager. Bet he'll do a good job. #westham— Vishes Narayan (@VishesNarayan) June 9, 2015
Bilic for West Ham is a steal, management recruitment done well— Andy Burnham (@aj_burnham) June 9, 2015
Woke up to see Bilic has finally been announced as the new West Ham manager. Will be interesting to see who he brings in now #COYI— Alan Jessup-Peacock (@BullJet) June 9, 2015
Welcome Slaven Bilic to West Ham! A good appointment. West Ham man. Did well with Croatia. Intelligent. Hope he gets a decent budget. #COYI— John Sills (@Jasthoughts) June 9, 2015
Sack big Sam to get a big name for mgr for the season and stadium, and appoint slaven bilic. What is the world coming to? Shocking— mark foy (@markfoy3011) June 9, 2015