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Compass CEO Richard Cousins Killed In Sydney; Dominic Blakemore Takes Charge

Compass Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Richard Cousins and five others, including his family members, were killed in Australia on New Year's Eve when their sightseeing seaplane crashed into Sydney river.

Bloomberg reported, citing an emailed statement, that Dominic Blakemore, formerly the company's chief operating officer for Europe, will succeed Cousins, aged 58, effective today.

Cousins was due to step down as CEO with effect from March 31. The world's biggest catering firm and food services giant in September had appointed Blakemore to succeed Cousins as CEO from April 1. Cousins led Compass over the past 11 years. Harvard Business Review reportedly had named Cousins as one of the world's best-performing CEOs.

As per a statement from the police, the chartered flight plunged into the Hawkesbury River, killing all six people on board, including the pilot.

Cousins died along with sons William, 25, and Edward, 23, his fiancee Emma Bowden, 48, and her 11-year-old daughter, Heather. The 44-year-old pilot, Gareth Morgan, was also killed.

Paul Walsh, chairman of Compass said, "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."

Police is said to be working with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and a probe has begun to determine the cause of the crash.

Sydney Seaplanes, which runs the Seaplane flights, said it suspended operations until further notice.

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