Email the editor

Event 'pioneer' Len Wilcock passes away

Worldspan founder remembered for his adventurous spirit and passion for 'finding something new'

Worldspan founder Len Wilcock died after a four-year battle with cancer

Worldspan is mourning the death of its founder Len Wilcock, an events industry ‘pioneer’ who had a thirst for travel and exploring new places.

Mr Wilcock died on 27 January aged 74, after a four-year battle with cancer. After years of travelling as a musician, Len founded Worldspan in 1972, the same year that saw the unfolding of the Watergate scandal and the final Apollo Mission to the moon.

Worldspan MD Sophie Morris said Mr Wilcock would be remembered for his kindness and larger-than-life personality.

“He was a pioneer for the industry,” she said.

“He pioneered destinations and was among the first to (take incentives and conferences) to countries. He had an adventurous spirit and was always looking for something new; he didn’t like to follow the norm.

“Len’s pioneering spirit is now the ethos of the company and it’s what we believe in. Although the world is becoming a smaller place we’re always looking at destinations to see what we can do differently there. He’s had a huge influence in the way we do things, and it will continue to set us apart.”

His son Jason Wilcock has taken up role as chairman of Worldspan, and completed a 'family' buy-out earlier this month. 

Industry peer and long-term friend Maarten Tromp, of Silversea Cruises, said Len had a colourful personality, and would be missed by all he crossed paths with.

"He travelled the world with singer Roger Whittaker and when he came back from his travels, he got his friends and others from the village together and used to tell them about his travels, and would start selling packages," Tromp said.

"He used to organise slideshows at his house. That's how he rolled.

"He had a great personality and a great relationship with his clients, be they individuals or corporates. All his clients have been with his company for years.

"He's left a big mark but he's got a great successor in Jason his son, and a fantastic team at Worldspan. He left his mark but it carries on."

Facebook Share Twitter Share LinkeIn Share