Whitehorn has been a non-executive director of the SECC since November 2010. He will replace Sir Ian Grant, who is retiring after 11 years in the role.
Formerly president of Virgin Galactic, Whitehorn previously founded Virgin Trains in 1996 and played a pivotal role in the global growth of the Virgin brand, acting as a spokesman for Sir Richard Branson before establishing the project to build the world’s first commercial spacecraft.
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, whose guidance and leadership has taken the business to where it is today."
Sir Ian Grant added: "Being chairman of the SECC has been an exceptional experience at an exciting time in the company's development. I am proud of the progress that has been made over these past years and I am sure that Will’s leadership will continue to ensure the value of the SECC not just to Glasgow, but to Scotland as a whole. "
This follows the news that John Sharkey, chief executive of the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC), is to step down from his role in Easter 2014 after 11 years.
The SECC's sales director Ben Goedegebuure will also leave for Maritz Travel in early 2014.