Ms Manzie will take over from acting chief executive and town clerk Cathy Goodwin - who is also the borough's strategic director of lifelong learning - in September.
The previous chief executive Iain Roxburgh retired last month after 12 years in the post.
Ms Manzie said: 'I am very excited about my new appointment. At a time of great social and economic change, Coventry is one of the most exciting places to be.'
Leader of the council Nick Nolan (Lab) said: 'I am delighted Stella has accepted this challenging post. Her appointment sends out a powerful signal that not only can we expect a change of style at Coventry but perhaps a change of direction.'