Compass CEO killed in plane crash

By 
Peter Romeo, Director of Digital Content

Richard cousins

Compass Group confirmed this morning that CEO Richard Cousins was killed on New Year’s Eve in a small-plane crash off the coast of Australia. He was 58.

Cousins was scheduled to step down as CEO in March, after leading the world’s largest foodservice management company for 11 years. His planned successor, Compass COO Dominic Blakemore, has agreed to assume Cousins’ duties immediately.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by this terrible news,” Compass Chairman Paul Walsh said in a statement. “It has been a great privilege to know Richard personally and to work with him for the last few years. Richard was known and respected for his great humanity and a no-nonsense style that transformed Compass into one of Britain's leading companies.”

Also killed in the crash were Cousins’ fiance, Emma Bowden, 48, and his two sons, 25-year-old William and 23-year-old Edward. Bowden’s 11-year-old daughter, Heather, and pilot Gareth Morgan also did not survive the crash.

The family was flying in a 54-year-old single-engine craft at about 4 p.m. local time, en route back to an airport after dining at a fly-in restaurant.

Compass Group’s U.S. operations include the contract management firms Bon Appetit, Canteen, Morrison, Flik and Eurest.

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