Markus Gisdol, 47, was most recently in charge of Hoffenheim having previously been assistant coach at Schalke and also worked at SSV Ulm and SC Geislinger earlier in his career.
He was sacked by Hoffenheim in October 2015 despite having penned a new three-year contract just six months earlier.
After succeeding Marko Kurz in April 2013, he was credited with saving Hoffenheim from relegation that season and in the following campaign he led them to a creditable ninth-place Bundesliga finish.
Gisdol becomes Hamburg’s ninth coach in the last five years after Labbadia paid the price for a poor start to the new season.
At Gisdol’s own request, he has been handed a contract that runs only until the end of the season.
Frank Frohling and Frank Kaspari have been named as his assistants.