Businessman killed in plane crash was ex Lancaster student

Leeds-born businessman Richard Cousins
Leeds-born businessman Richard Cousins
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A former Lancaster University student is among the members of one family killed in a plane crash in Australia.

Well-known businessman Richard Cousins, his fiance Emma Bowden and their three children died, along with the pilot, when the plane they were travelling in crashed during a New Year's Eve trip.

Experienced Australian pilot Gareth Morgan, 44, died when the aircraft he was flying crashed into Jerusalem Bay, near Sydney.

On board were Richard Cousins, 58, his fiancee Emma Bowden, 48, her daughter Heather Bowden, 11, and his sons, Edward Cousins, 23, and William Cousins, 25.

Richard Cousins was the group chief executive of the world’s largest catering company, Compass Group. He was born in Leeds and studied in Sheffield before coming to Lancaster University's Management School, where he gained an MSc in Operational Research.

Paul Walsh, Compass Group Chairman, said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by this terrible news. The thoughts of everyone at Compass are with Richard’s family and friends, and we extend our deepest sympathies to them.”

“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.”

Cousins had also served on the board of supermarket Tesco, and had previously been named as one of the world’s 100 best-performing chief executives by the Harvard Business Review.