The company was delighted to have appointed someone of Lamberti’s calibre, board chairman Thulani Gcabashe said in a statement.
“We are confident his experience, exceptional leadership skills and expertise will benefit Imperial and its stakeholders.”
His appointment would be effective from March 1, while Brody would remain with the company as a non-executive director.
Lamberti, 63, would relinquish his position on the boards of other listed companies. His previous roles included managing director of Makro and executive chairman and chief executive of Massmart.
Lamberti said: “I am honoured to succeed Hubert, and before him the late Bill Lynch, as the leader of this remarkable group and look forward to working with Imperial’s highly skilled leadership team to deliver value for stakeholders.”