MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The CEO of Compass Group Plc, the world’s biggest catering firm, and four of his close family members were among the six people who died when the seaplane they were traveling in crashed into Sydney river on New Year’s Eve.
Richard Cousins, 58, chief of the British-based catering and food services giant, died alongside Emma Bowden, 48, Heather Bowden, 11, Edward Cousins, 23, and William Cousins, 25, according to Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings from the New South Wales Police.
The pilot, Gareth Morgan, 44, also died in the crash.
Australian media reports identified the victims as the CEO’s two sons, his fiancée and her daughter.
Hutchings said that police had already been in contact with UK authorities.
Compass Chairman Paul Walsh said in a statement: “The thoughts of everyone at Compass are with Richard’s family and friends, and we extend our deepest sympathies to them.”
“Richard was known and respected for his great humanity and a no-nonsense style that transformed Compass into one of Britain’s leading companies,” he added on Monday.
Cousins, who led Compass over the past 11 years, was due to step down in March. It followed his decision to quit his role of senior independent director of supermarket giant Tesco.
He has been widely credited with turning the company’s business around and making Compass into one of the Financial Times Stock Exchange’s best-performing firms.