Renteria, 51, has no prior managerial experience in the major leagues but has been on the coaching staff of the San Diego Padres for the last six seasons.
He managed the Mexican team in last spring's World Baseball Classic and has managed minor league teams in the Miami and San Diego organizations. Counting his time as a player, Renteria has 30 years of experience in professional baseball, the Cubs said in a release.
Renteria agreed to a three-year contract, with two additional years of team options.
He replaces Dale Sveum, who had a 127-197 record in two seasons of leading the Cubs. Chicago was 66-96 in 2013. Only the Miami Marlins (62-100) had a worse record in the National League.