Eide will be responsible for fostering relations between business and the public sector for the organization, famous for its annual get-together in the Swiss mountain resort town of Davos, attracting the global business and political elite.
“I am delighted to be joining an organization that plays a critical role in bringing stakeholders together from all aspects of the public and private spheres,” Eide said in a statement.
“Now more than ever, dialogue that crosses boundaries and breaks people and institutions out of silos, is critical in addressing the challenges the world faces.”
Eide was instrumental earlier this year in arranging the deal whereby Syria agreed to dismantle its chemical weapons programme.
He has also worked closely with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, international collaboration on the Arctic and developing Nato's new strategic concept.
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum said that Eide brought "leadership, energy and great experience in international and security affairs", and would help turn the organization into "the foremost platform for public-private cooperation".
Eide will be the only one of the WEF's nine managing directors to have held a ministerial post in government when he joins next February.