Intertek, which tests products from toys and clothes to oil and renewable technology, said Reid, also a former chairman of Kwik-Fit Group, would replace Vanni Treves, who will retire on 1 January after 10 years in the post.
Reid, 64, will join the Intertek board as a non-executive director from December.
The FTSE-100 listed company, which last month posted a 14 per cent rise in first-half profit.
Intertek used Spencer Stuart as its headhunter.
Shares in Intertek closed up 1.8 per cent yesterday at £20.03.