Burns was also formerly head of corporate communications at British Airways for five years before joining Etihad Airways as vice-president of corporate comms in Abu Dhabi.
Burns resigned from BA in 2006 following links with a price-fixing case brought by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which later collapsed in 2010.
Four Communications has appointed Burns as managing director of corporate PR, issues and crisis management and will join in December from Bell Pottinger Sans Frontieres.
Commenting on the appointment, Four Communications Group chief executive Nan Williams said it was a ‘great coup for us to be able to bring in a senior figure like Iain. He brings invaluable experience and media knowledge as we develop further our corporate PR, issues and crisis expertise.'
In his new role, Burns will work on the corporate and issues-led work in the agency across a range of sectors, including transport and tourism, as well as helping to drive the agency’s corporate practice with international MD Ray Eglington.