Benchikh, who spent more than 20 years at BAT before departing to work in other industries, will replace interim finance director Javed Iqbal, who took the role temporarily when previous finance chief Tadeu Marroco was appointed chief executive in May.
She will take the role from May 1, 2024, re-joining BAT from spirits maker Diageo, where she was president of its Europe division.
Welcoming Benchikh back to the company, BAT Chairperson Luc Jobin said she brings a wealth of leadership experience and commercial acumen.
"Soraya's excellent track record in different geographies and in depth understanding of the sector make her ideally suited for the role," he said, adding he was confident her leadership would accelerate BAT's strategy.
Like its rivals, the maker of Lucky Strike and Dunhill cigarettes is trying to push into alternative nicotine products such as vapes as its core tobacco and cigarettes come under increasing pressure from regulators and growing awareness of health risks.
Benchikh said she shares BAT's passion for this transformation, and can leverage her experience within the broader consumer goods sector to help drive it forward.
She spent from July 2020 until January 2023 at Diageo. In her two decades at BAT, she served as president of BAT France, area director for east and southern Europe and regional finance director for Europe.
Earlier in her career, she held finance roles at General Electric and Gillette.
She will be appointed with a base salary of £800,000, BAT said.