Sharkey, who left the SECC in April 2014, will be responsible for SMG’s existing business operations in Europe, as well as business development in Europe and Asia.
Sharkey said: "I have been privileged during my career with great opportunities and EVP European Operations carries on that succession.
"I am joining a business which has been on a growth curve through strong and weak economic cycles as a result of great strength and depth."
Since leaving the SECC, Sharkey has been operating in a consultancy role to the conference, exhibition and entertainment industry.
SMG is the UK’s largest arena operator, managing more than 55,000 seats in four territories.