The wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been appointed as a director of Harrods – working on the department store’s “corporate social responsibility”.
Sarah Brown joined the Qatari-owned retailer on September 1, The Independent has learned, in a move that is likely to raise eyebrows across the political and business worlds.
According to documents filed at Companies House, the 50-year-old describes herself as a charity director and writer. Before settling down with Mr Brown in the late 1990s, she had a successful career in public relations but now focuses on charity work and is a patron of the White Ribbon Alliance and Women’s Aid.
It is not known how much she will be paid for her duties as a non-executive director at Harrods and how much time she will dedicate to the role.
Mrs Brown’s new employers – Qatar Holding, the investment fund of the emirates royal family - are certainly not short of cash having acquired Harrods for £1.5bn in 2010. A spokesman for Qatar Holding said Mrs Brown would provide “input and insight into the company’s strategic initiatives and overall business”. The company said she would also be involved in developing its “corporate social responsibility programmes”.
In a brief statement, Mrs Brown added: “I look forward to my return to business in joining the Harrods Group board and welcome the opportunity to work on the Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility plans for this world-renowned British brand.”