Howe had been the channel's general manager and executive vp since July 2004. He'll continue to report to Bonnie Hammer.
"Dave has been an inspired contributor to Sci Fi's success since the day he joined the team," Hammer said in a prepared statement. "The channel's on a tremendous roll, and the energy, creativity and commitment Dave brings to his new role can only accelerate the momentum."
Howe will be in charge of original development, programming, marketing, planning and the company's digital products. Before joining Sci Fi Channel in 2001, Howe worked at the BBC for 15 years and was its head of on-air marketing and creative services.