Biological processes in living cells are often carried out by gene networks in which signals and reactions are integrated through network hubs. Despite their functional importance, it remains unclear to what extent network hubs are evolvable and how alterations impact long-term evolution. We investigated these issues using heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), a central hub of proteostasis networks. When native Hsp90 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells was replaced by the ortholog from hypersaline-tolerant Yarrowia lipolytica that diverged from S. cerevisiae about 270 million years ago, the cells exhibited improved growth in hypersaline environments but compromised growth in others, indicating functional divergence in Hsp90 between the two yeasts. Laboratory evolution shows that evolved Y. lipolytica-HSP90–carrying S. cerevisiae cells exhibit a wider range of phenotypic variation than cells carrying native Hsp90. Identified beneficial mutations are involved in multiple pathways and are often pleiotropic. Our results show that cells adapt to a heterologous Hsp90 by modifying different subnetworks, facilitating the evolution of phenotypic diversity inaccessible to wild-type cells.