He will succeed Jane Collins, who announced in July that she would stand down in 2019 after more than six years with the charity, which supports people with terminal illnesses.
Reed has been chief executive at the Children’s Society for the past seven years and was previously chief executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Before that he was marketing director at Christian Aid.
He said in a statement today: "I’m excited about joining the wonderful team at Marie Curie in its mission to provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness and their families.
"It’s a cause that resonates deeply with me on a personal level and I’m looking forward to making a start next year."
Vindi Banga, chair of Marie Curie, said Reed would bring "a deep experience and track record of innovation and transformation in the charity sector".
He said: "I look forward to his leading Marie Curie into our next phase as we continue to serve the growing and increasingly complex palliative care needs in the UK."
A spokesman for the charity was unable to confirm how much Reed would be paid for the new role, which he will take up in February.
Collins was paid £168,317 in the year to the end of March, the charity’s latest accounts show.
Marie Curie employs more than 4,300 people and has an annual income of more than £159m.