Others in the world of business have also expressed their shock and sadness at the death of Cousins and applauded his success as a leader.
Lord Livingston, the former UK trade minister, became the chief executive of BT Group shortly after Cousins started as the boss of Compass. Livingston informed reporters that they had met a number of times, usually touring the BT staff restaurants that are operated by Compass.
Livingston stated: “Despite running a business with hundreds of thousands of people he made time to come in and talk with big clients. He was very no-nonsense and hands-on.”
He also praised the way that Cousins turned Compass around after his appointment in 2006, increasing the share price from 236p to 1600p.
He added: “He was a very good example of someone who took a challenged business and turned it into a world leader. We don’t have too many of those in the UK.”
In a response to the news, Rupert Soames, the chief executive of Serco, posted a tweet saying that the accident was “terribly sad” and that Cousins was “such an able man and a hugely respected CEO of Compass.”
Meanwhile, the chairman of Reckitt Benckiser, Adrian Bellamy, praised Cousins, who had formerly served on the board of the company. “It has been a great privilege to know Richard, both personally and professionally,” said Benckiser.
“He was one of those rare examples of human beings who measured success by not only what he achieved for the companies he led, but also by the significant humanitarian contributions he made. It was a pleasure working on the board where he contributed in shaping RB current strategy.”
Recently, Cousins also served on the board of Tesco, leaving the firm early in 2017.
The non-executive chairman of the Tesco board, John Allan, stated: “Richard was a valued member of the Tesco board and was appreciated for his business acumen and straight talking. I was privileged to have known him for these years. We are shaken by this terrible news and our thoughts and condolences go to his friends and family.”
According to David Buik, a Panmure Gordon analyst, he “ticked every single box. He was probably the outstanding FTSE 100 CEO.” Earlier this year, Tim Ramskill, the Credit Suisse analyst, said that the tenure of Cousins had been “nothing short of exceptional.”
The former CEO was also a keen fan of cricket. He also helped oversee a joint venture between the Kia Oval and Compass.
Richard Thompson, the Surrey County Cricket Club chairman, said that Cousins had been looking forward to becoming much more involved with cricket after his supposed retirement.
Thompson said: “Richard was both a great man and a great businessman,” said Thompson. “Sometimes you can be one; but not both. Richard managed both with real sincerity and integrity. He was a one off. I feel genuinely privileged to have known him.”
Paul Nixon, the Former England cricketer, also expressed his sadness regarding the news of the accident. He wrote on Twitter: “Richard loved his Cricket and was such a great man.”