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Compass Group PLC CEO succession

Compass Group today announces that Richard Cousins has decided to step down from his role as Group Chief Executive Officer on 31 March 2018 and to retire from the Group on 30 September 2018.  He will be succeeded by Dominic Blakemore, currently Chief Operating Officer Europe.  Dominic will become Deputy Chief Executive Officer on 1 October 2017 and will work closely with Richard during the next six months to ensure a smooth transition and will take over as Group Chief Executive Officer on 1 April 2018.

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. 

Dominic’s appointment is the result of a rigorous succession process.  Dominic joined Compass Group in 2012 and has already contributed significantly to the Group as CFO for 4 years and for the past 2 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.”

Richard Cousins, Group Chief Executive Officer, said:

“It has been a privilege to work with the many talented people that make up the Compass team.  I am grateful to have enjoyed their support in building a world class business that has enormous potential to prosper further.  I look forward to working closely with Dominic in the next six months to ensure a smooth handover and I am confident that he will lead the Group to even greater success in the future.”

Dominic Blakemore, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said:

“I am honoured and delighted to be appointed as Compass’ next CEO.  I am fortunate to be supported by a very strong senior management team and together we will continue to build on the success achieved under Richard’s leadership.”  

This announcement contains inside information.


Sandra Moura

+44 (0) 1932 573000

Media Gordon Simpson, Finsbury +44 (0) 207 251 3801





Note to Editors


Richard Cousins

Richard Cousins (age 58) was appointed Group Chief Executive of Compass Group PLC in 2006. 

This appointment followed six years as CEO of BPB plc, the building materials company which was acquired by the French group, Saint Gobain in 2005.   BPB was the world’s leading producer of plasterboard and plaster.  It had revenues of £2.5bn and operated in 40 plus countries.

Richard’s first nine years with BPB included spells as Strategic Planning Manager, Group Financial Controller, Managing Director of the UK packaging businesses and President of BPB Canada.  His earlier career was spent in Operational Research and Strategic Planning with Cadbury Schweppes and BTR.

He is a former non-executive director of P & O plc, HBOS plc, Reckitt Benckiser Group plc and Tesco PLC.

Richard has a maths degree from Sheffield University and a Masters degree in Operational Research from Lancaster University.

Mr Cousins will be paid to 30 September 2018 in accordance with his current terms.  Long term incentive awards will be pro-rated and will continue to be subject to post vesting holding requirements. 

Dominic Blakemore

Dominic Blakemore (age 48) was appointed Chief Operating Officer Europe in 2015, having joined the Group and the Board in 2012 as Chief Financial Officer, a role which encompassed Strategy, Investor Relations, IT and being the Sector Head of Defence, Offshore and Remote.

He was appointed a non-executive director of Shire plc in 2014, where he is a member of the remuneration committee and chairman of the Audit Committee. 

Dominic was the Chief Financial Officer of Iglo Foods between 2010 and 2012, and held senior finance positions with Cadbury plc between 2004 and 2010. He is a qualified accountant, having trained at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He is also a member of the Academic Council and chairman of the Audit Committee of University College, London, from where he graduated in 1991 with a B.A. (Hons) in French.


Mr Blakemore’s salary will be £750,000 p.a. from 1 October 2017 and will be £900,000 p.a. from 1 April 2018 when he will succeed Mr Cousins as Group Chief Executive Officer.  Mr Cousins will cease to be a director on 31 March 2018, and will be available to support Mr Blakemore from 1 April 2018 until he retires from the Group in September 2018.


About Compass Group

Compass Group PLC is one of the world’s leading foodservice and support services companies which generated annual revenues of £20 billion in the year to 30 September 2016. It operates in over 50 countries, employs over 500,000 people and serves over 5 billion meals every year. The Company specialises in providing food and a range of support services across the core sectors of Business & Industry, Healthcare & Seniors, Education, Defence, Offshore & Remote, Sports & Leisure and Vending with an established brand portfolio.

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