Devane, who succeeds Peter Cardy, will start in May. Acting chief executive Judy Beard will return to her job as director of fundraising, marketing and communications.
The charity said it was attracted to Devane's record in strategic leadership and operational management. He was previously employed for seven years at Gemini Consulting, working with the company's healthcare and pharmaceutical brands.
"I hope to do my part to help Macmillan adapt and grow," said Devane.
Jamie Dundas, chair of Macmillan, said the charity chose from a strong field of applicants from across the voluntary, public and private sectors.
Cardy, who stepped down from his post at Macmillan at the end of last year, was named as chief executive of the Department for Transport's Maritime and Coastguard Agency in January.