PR resumes its seat on Inchcape’s board

International distribution group Inchcape has brought PR back into the boardroom after a two-year absence.

International distribution group Inchcape has brought PR back into

the boardroom after a two-year absence.



Group corporate affairs director Paul Barber was appointed to the

company’s group management board last week. His promotion marks the

first time the position has had a seat on the board since Barber’s

predecessor John Duncan took early retirement in May 1995.



Inchcape group chief executive Philip Cushing said: ’Paul’s appointment,

after almost three years with Inchcape, reflects not only the value

Inchcape places on its corporate communications activities, but also the

wider contribution I expect the corporate affairs function to make in

the day-to-day running of an international company’.



Barber said the move would ensure that the corporate communications

implications were considered in ’every business decision we make’.



A student of the PR masters course at Stirling University, 30-year-old

Barber is something of a high-flyer. He spent three years at Abbey

National as public and media relations manager before moving to retail

chain Bhs as senior PR manager in 1993. Within seven months he had been

promoted to head of corporate communications for the Bhs and Blazer

chains.



He joined Inchcape as group corporate affairs manager in September 1994

in the midst of a decline which saw the company’s pre-tax profits fall

from pounds 230.6 million in 1994 to pounds 146.8 million in 1995.

Recent figures, however, show the strength of the company’s turnaround

after extensive restructuring. Pre-tax profits for 1996 were up by 12

per cent to pounds 165 million on turnover of just over pounds 6

billion.



Leader, p9.



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