In a highly unusual move, New York-headquartered Grey Global Group has hired a serving senior executive from an advertiser as a non-executive member of its board.

In a terse press release, Grey yesterday revealed it has appointed Victor J Barnett, chairman of upmarket British retailer Burberry, to its board.

Perhaps of greater significance is that Barnett also serves on the board of Burberry’s parent, Great Universal Stores – a massive retail and mail order business with extensive interests in Britain, Europe and the USA.

No reason was given for the appointment of Barnett, who replaces John Shannon on Grey’s board. The latter continues as president of Grey’s international operations.

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