He is taking over from David George, who will step down from the post at the end of January after a 20-year stint in the role. He joined the pub group at its inception in 1991.
Smith will move to Enterprise Inns at the start of the new year and will go through a transition period with George before his full appointment to the board on 20 January 2011.
He joined Compass, the food services group, three years ago.
Prior to that Smith held various finance positions at Somerfield, Telewest Global and NTL. He is a fully qualified accountant.