Richard Cousins

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Richard Cousins
Born 29 March 1959
Alma mater University of Sheffield
Lancaster University Management School
Occupation Businessman
Spouse(s) Caroline Thorpe
Children 2 sons
Parent(s) Philip Cousins
Marian Cousins

Richard John Cousins (born 29 March 1959) is the chief executive officer of the world's largest foodservice company, the Compass Group, based in Chertsey, Surrey.

Early life[edit]

Richard Cousins was born on 29 March 1959 in Leeds.[1] He is the son of Marian and Philip Cousins.[1]

Cousins was educated at The Brakenhale School, a comprehensive school.[2] He graduated from the University of Sheffield, where he earned a BSc in mathematics in 1980.[1] At Lancaster University Management School, he gained an MSc in Operational Research.[1]


Cousins began in the group operational research depart of Cadbury-Schweppes in 1981,[1] being involved in market research and investment projects. In 1984 he joined BTR Industries,[1] again in operational research. He became corporate planning manager for Newey and Eyre (now part of Hagemeyer UK),[1] one of its subsidiaries and an electrical components firm. In 1990 he moved to BPB plc, the British firm which is the world's largest manufacturer of plasterboard and now owned by the French company Saint-Gobain, working in planning.[citation needed]

From 1996 to 1998, Cousins was managing director of its Abertay Paper Sacks company at Bucksburn in Aberdeen.[citation needed] He became a group financial controller and president of the Canadian section of the business in 1998 before becoming chief executive in 2000. Under his leadership, he took the company into the FTSE 100, which transformed its market capitalization from £1bn to around £4bn. He sold BPB to Saint-Gobain for £3.9bn in December 2005, after a hostile takeover.[citation needed]

Cousins joined Compass in May 2006 as Group Chief Executive, taking over from Mike Bailey. On 12 April 2011 he gave the Arena Savoy Lecture at London's Savoy Hotel.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Cousins married Caroline Thorpe in 1982.[1] They have two sons.[1] They reside in the Chilterns.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "COUSINS, Richard John". Who's Who 2017. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  2. ^ Interview 2011
  3. ^ Shah, Saeed (30 September 2005). "Richard Cousins: The reluctant batsman who's stepped out to face the French". The Independent. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Mike Bailey
Chief Executive of Compass Group
May 2006 -
Succeeded by