Hatfield will report to editor James Harding, in a role spanning commercial and editorial operations.
Times Ventures will look to leverage The Times brand into conferences and events, with a focus on business-to-business. The department is likely to have a staff of less than 10.
Rival business titles such as The Economist and the Financial Times have dedicated conference units. The Times, published by News International, has hitherto operated conferences and events on more of an ad hoc basis.
Hatfield was launch editor of thelondonpaper in 2006. The free title competed with rival London Lite for three years, before closing in September. He previously spent two years as editor-in-chief of Metro International and, before that, he was editorial director at Advertising Age group, both posts based in the US.
From 1995 to 2000, he was editor of the Haymarket-owned magazine, Campaign.