I heard via facebook yesterday that Steve Downton had passed away on the 19th January 2014 after a 10 year fight with cancer.
I remember the first time I met Steve. It as just after the merger of HP & Compaq and my boss Dave Stubbs [ex-Digital] invited Steve into the Compaq/HP office in Reading. The one with the large “road” running down the middle of the office. We discussed the need to drive step change improvements in the service industry and I was pleasently surprised at Steves passion for service excellence. Something he never lost.
Years later we reconnected when I started working in Fujitsu and I wanted to help Steve drive the service excellence agenda and actively supported him with presentations, market research and even web casts to help share news, insights and how people could lead the change.
I knew Steve was ill and late last year he cancelled the last Service Management conference that he was going to host. The previous meeting had seen a presentation from Laurie Young, a services industry marketing veteran, who suddenly died due to a heart attack.
I will attend Steve’s funeral next Monday 27th January. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and I will forever miss a great friend, change agent and service excellence driver.