Will Whitehorn has been a non-executive director of the SECC since November 2010.
He will take over as chairman of the Board of Scottish Exhibition Centre Ltd on January 1.
His appointment follows the retirement of Sir Ian Grant, who held the post for 11 years.
Mr Whitehorn, who was born in Edinburgh, joined the Virgin group in 1987 after being talent-spotted by Sir Richard Branson. He is a non-executive director of Stagecoach Group plc and was previously the president of Virgin Galactic, which plans to offer space tourism to the public.
Mr Whitehorn said: "I am thrilled to be stepping into the position of Chairman of the SECC. The company has performed extremely well in recent years, most noticeably with the opening of The SSE Hydro - a venue which is set to bring many exciting opportunities to Scotland.
"I am privileged to follow in the footsteps of Sir Ian Grant."