Linares replaces Sara Gomez to take up his role at the insurance provider on 1 September. His last role was at ITV, which he left in March of this year after six months as their group HR director.
He has previously held senior HR roles at O2 and Telefonica. His first HR leadership role was at Diageo. He was appointed HR director for the distiller's African region in 1994 – having previously worked in marketing and customer services for various companies.
Linares will report directly to Direct Line CEO Paul Geddes. Geddes said of the appointment: "“I am delighted to welcome Simon to our team. He brings extensive experience from consumer and digital businesses, which will be invaluable to Direct Line Group as we continue our transformation.”