Boss of world’s biggest caterer shocks market with resignation

Richard Cousins, CEO

The CEO of the world’s largest caterer is to step down from his position next year, it has been announced.  

Richard Cousins, the boss of Compass Group (pictured), will exit his role on 31 March 2018 and retire from the company on 30 September 2018 in a move that has taken the market by surprise.

He will be succeeded by Dominic Blakemore, currently COO Europe.

Mr Blakemore will become deputy CEO on 1 October 2017 and will work closely with Mr Cousins during the next six months to ensure a smooth transition.

He will pick up a salary of £750,000 per annum as deputy and £900,000 per annum once he succeeds Mr Cousins.

Paul Walsh, Compass Group’s chairman, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Richard and on behalf of the Board I want to thank him for his extraordinary contribution to the group. In the past 11 years Richard has transformed Compass into an industry leading organisation that delivers excellent food services to our clients, attracts and develops great people and generates significant returns for our shareholders.”

Walsh said that Blakemore’s appointment was the result of a “rigorous” succession process.

“Dominic joined Compass Group in 2012 and has already contributed significantly to the Group as CFO for four years and for the past two years as chief operating officer Europe. Dominic has the leadership skills combined with the industry and operational experience to build on the Group’s strong track record, and as CEO to lead Compass to continued future success.”

Compass Group generated annual revenues of £20 billion in the year to 30 September 2016. It operates in over 50 countries, employs more than 500,000 people and serves over 5 billion meals every year.

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