Last week we lost our colleague and friend, Bill Shedden, who died suddenly as a result of a stroke.

Bill joined Cranfield in 2002 as Director of the Centre for Customised Executive Development (CCED). Under Bill’s leadership CCED became a global leader in the provision of executive development, much of which was down to Bill’s inspirational and innovative leadership. Bill was also a leading light in UNICON and, as such, enjoyed a global reputation as a leader in his field.

His colleague, Dr John Glen, said: "The external recognition of Bill’s inestimable contribution to executive development only captures part of what made Bill Shedden the man he was. Bill was a fabulous leader who gave generously of his time to help his colleagues be the best that they could be. A man of endless patience, he would listen to the concerns of all his team and use his influence and network to broker solutions to their problems. His experience as a trade union negotiator in the 1970s and early 1980s gave Bill a skill set which made negotiating with clients so much easier for those of us who did not have his experience.

"The CCED team has not only lost a colleague, but also a father figure. Bill encouraged us when times were hard, praised us when we did our best work, picked us up and dusted us down when things went wrong: he was always there for us. Bill’s passing will leave an enormous hole in our professional lives but, perhaps more telling, we have lost a friend, the like of which comes along very infrequently. It is our great fortune that we knew and worked with Bill Shedden and he will remain in our thoughts and in our hearts.

"At this difficult time our thoughts are with Bill’s daughter and son, Natalie and Daniel, and his grandchildren."

About Cranfield University

Cranfield has been a world leader in management education and research for over 50 years, helping individuals and organisations learn and succeed by transforming knowledge into action. We are dedicated to creating responsible management thinking, improving business performance and inspiring the next generation of business leaders. We work to change the lives of our students and executives by encouraging innovation and creative thinking, as well as the drive to succeed and make a real impact on their organisations.

Organisations as diverse as Jaguar Land Rover, BAE Systems, Royal Dutch Shell, L’Oréal, UNICEF and the African Development Bank have benefited from our work, which ranges from management research projects, through staff talent management development on our MBA courses, to customised executive programmes.

Cranfield is one of an elite group of Schools worldwide to hold the triple accreditation of: AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) and AMBA (the Association of MBAs).

We are in the Top 10 International Business Schools in the Forbes’ ranking.

Our open and customised executive education programmes are ranked in the top five in the UK, according to the latest Financial Times survey, and in the top ten in the world for international reach. Over 10,000 people come to Cranfield each year to benefit from our executive and professional development programmes.