The flight was part of a trip conducted by Sydney Seaplanes, which has five aircraft transporting passengers on scenic trips above the Australian city, often to waterfront restaurants. The pilot, Gareth Morgan, had more than 10,000 hours of flight experience, the vast majority of which was on seaplanes, Aaron Shaw, the company’s managing director, said in a statement. Sydney Seaplanes, which said it had not had any safety incidents since it started operating in 2005, suspended all its operations until further notice.
Mr. Cousins had been expected to leave Compass at the end of March. His planned successor as chief executive, Dominic Blakemore, the company’s chief operating officer for Europe, will take over immediately, Compass said.
When Mr. Cousins took the helm of the company, it was mired in a corruption scandal, accused of bribing a United Nations official to garner contracts to supply peacekeepers. Settling lawsuits and ending investigations tied to the allegations cost the company 39 million pounds, it said in its 2007 annual report, around $53 million at current exchange rates.
During his time as chief executive, Mr. Cousins increased the size of the company. Revenue more than doubled, and operating profit increased fourfold. The company’s share price has increased by more than six times since he took over, to £16, or about $21.60, a share. Last year, The Harvard Business Review named him the 11th-best performing chief executive in the world.
Compass had full-year revenue of £22.9 billion and profit of £1.7 billion in the most recent financial year, which ended in September.
Compass says it holds 10 percent of the global food services market, operating across 50 countries. The company said in its most recent annual report that it served more than 5.5 billion meals a year.
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