John Harvey-Jones

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Person.png John Harvey-Jones  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(mariner, spook, businessman)
John Harvey-Jones.jpg
Born16 April 1924
Hackney, London, England
Died9 January 2008 (Age 83)
Hereford, Herefordshire, England, UK
Member ofEuropean Round Table of Industrialists

Sir John Harvey-Jones was a British spook, media operative and businessman.

Early life

John Harvey-Jones spent most of his early childhood in Dhar, India, where his father, Mervyn Stockton Harvey-Jones (né Harvey), a former Captain in the Indian Army and bank employee, was guardian and tutor to a teenage maharajah. (This type of minding of a puppet ruler hints that already John's father had intelligence connections).

Royal Navy career and Intelligence leader

Harvey-Jones joined Dartmouth Royal Naval College as a cadet in 1937, and in 1940, at the age of 16, he joined HMS Diomede as a midshipman. The next two ships that he served with, HMS Ithuriel and HMS Quentin, were sunk by enemy action. Harvey-Jones went on to join the submarine service in 1942, and received his first command at age 24.

With the end of World War II, Harvey-Jones went to the University of Cambridge to learn Russian in six months and joined British Naval Intelligence as an interpreter. He married Mary Bignell in 1947, and he commanded the Russian intelligence section under the guise of the "British Baltic Fishery Protection Service", which used two ex-German E-boats for gathering clandestine intelligence on the Soviet Baltic Fleet. Harvey-Jones rose to the rank of lieutenant-commander.

Business Career

He - officially - resigned his commission in 1956 and joined Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) on Teeside as a junior training manager. In 1973, at age 49, he was promoted to sit on the main board of directors. In April 1982, he became chairman of ICI, only the second split-career man and non-chemist to reach the top.

In 1989, he became chairman of The Economist, was a non-executive director of Grand Metropolitan plc (now part of Diageo), and honorary vice-president of the Institute of Marketing. Harvey-Jones was also chairman of the Burns-Anderson Group plc, a conglomerate spanning merchant banking, financial services, recruitment, marketing and business services, and stockbroking.

In 1952 he was awarded a military MBE for his work in Naval Intelligence, although his citation stated that the award was for "fishery protection duties in the Baltic".

On behalf of ICI, he participated in the 1983 foundation meeting of European Round Table of Industrialists


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/197821 April 197823 April 1978US
New Jersey
Princeton University
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