Soriano fills the vacancy created by the departure of Garry Cook last season and takes up his position on September 1.
He comes with an impressive CV, having been credited with transforming the off-field fortunes of Barcelona.
"I am delighted to take up the position of chief executive officer of Manchester City Football Club," he said.
"The vision of the owner together with his commitment, and that of the chairman and board, make this opportunity absolutely compelling.
"The club has incredible potential to be fulfilled both on and off the field. I very much look forward to playing my part to ensure that happens."
City have been chasing Soriano for some time but it is only now that he has been cleared to take up a job chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak views as one of the most important at the club.
"The process of finding a chief executive officer has been deliberate, far reaching and exhaustive," said Khaldoon.
"In Ferran we have our preferred candidate.
"His experience in football and in the wider commercial world make him exceptionally well equipped to lead Manchester City through its continued evolution."