The victims of a seaplane crash in Sydney’s Hawkesbury region on New Years Eve have been identified as a British CEO and his close family.
Richard Cousins, the 58-year-old CEO of catering company Compass Group, had been on board along with his two adult sons, Edward Cousins and William Cousins, his fiancee, Emma Bowden, and her 11-year-old daughter.
Compass Group is the world’s largest catering company, operating in approximately 50 countries and employing more than 550,000 people.
The company’s chairman Paul Walsh said in a statement: “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 resigned from his CEO role in 2017 and had been due to finish up in March. He was previously a non-executive director of Tesco and was once tipped to become the company’s chief executive.
Harvard Business Review previously named Cousins one of the world’s best-performing CEOs.
The 44-year-old pilot of the seaplane, Gareth Morgan, also died in the crash.
Morgan had more than 10,000 hours of flying experience.
The operating company, Sydney Seaplanes, had an “unblemished safety record” according to its managing director Aaron Shaw, but has suspended all operations until further notice.
The seaplane is submerged 13 metres below water and has yet to be recovered.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the incident and a preliminary report is expected within a month.
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