Whitehorn has been appointed to add "genuine value" to the business, according to SECC chief executive John Sharkey.
"Will brings the perfect combination of skills and experience that match our ambitions for the SECC," added Sharkey. "He has outstanding international networks within the private and government sectors that can add genuine value to the business."
Whitehorn joined the Virgin Group as group public and investor relations manager and in 2000 he was appointed brand development and corporate affairs director for Virgin Group.
In 2004, Whitehorn became president of Virgin Galactic and in 2007 he took on that role in an executive capacity and became a special advisor to Sir Richard Branson.
"The SECC is entering an exciting stage in its business life," said Whitehorn. "Its investment and growth plans, including Scottish National Arena, have positioned it strategically to capitalise on a significant period for both Glasgow and Scotland’s event market. We’ve a great opportunity now to position the business as a centre of event excellence and a world class and globally recognised leisure and business brand."