Hackett has 36 years of event management experience and founded The Travel Organisation in 1980, which rebranded as The Marketing Organisation (TMO) in 1987.
TMO was sold to BI in 2001, at which Hackett was chairman until 2005 and was subsequently chairman of BI Worldwide. He led the strategic acquisition of The MINT Organisation, extending BI's operations into Australia, Asia and Dubai to position the company as a global communications and motivation business.
Hackett left BI in 2011 to start a new venture which helped Smart Hospitality win the catering at The Olympic Hospitality Centre. His responsibilities will including chairing the monthly meetings of the Grass Roots events businesses.
This part of the Grass Roots family manages billings in excess of £100m and has four primary business locations: Fleet in Hampshire; Marlow in Buckinghamshire; Putney London and Worcester.
The directors responsible for each part of the enterprise – Giselle Ripken (Fleet), Jon Shilling and Warren Hillier (Marlow), Des McLaughlin (Putney) and Charles Moyle (Worcester) – will continue in their roles as heads of these businesses.
David Evans MBE, founder and executive chairman of Grass Roots, said: "David Hackett and I have known one another for two decades and more. He has a distinguished history in the space, is a clear thinker and an experienced chairman. I enjoy his companionship and it is widely known that he treats the event Industry with respect and dignity."