He will be joined on the board by Mike Arrowsmith, a veteran of the packaging industry who takes up his post with immediate effect.
Paterson, who is currently finance director at Forth Ports, will join Macfarlane in January. His duties will include chairing the firm’s audit committee.
The company said that the appointments add “significant relevant experience and strength” to its board.
Chairman Graeme Bissett said: “Both have very relevant experience with Mike’s background in packaging and logistics, and Stuart’s financial experience in listed companies. I look forward to working with them to progress the development of the group.”