Former magazine and newspaper publisher Peter Harkness has been made non-executive chairman of the European IT analyst organisation, the Butler Group.
His appointment follows an investment by venture-capital company 3i, with which Harkness has had a long association.
Recently, 3i announced its principal role in the backing of a £10m management buyout of Butler Group.
Harkness will work with Martin Butler, the group’s founder, and Max Becker, managing director, on plans for European expansion.
Since leading his first management buyout in 1998, Harkness has been instrumental in a series of venture capital-backed deals.
These included Why Publications, publisher of 15 titles in the Midlands, also backed by 3i, and later sold to regional publisher Northcliffe Newspapers, and London Newspaper Group, publisher of titles including the Fulham Chronicle and the Kensington Post.
Harkness is also non-executive director of Walker Greenbank, based in Hemel Hempstead, and chairman of medical publishing house Professional, Managerial and Healthcare Publications in Chichester.
Harkness, looking forward to contributing to the Butler Group business, said Butler and Becker had restructured it in order to "develop its quality IT research and market-leading events for a wider European audience."
By Jean Morgan