The death of Random House Group MD Peter Bowron at the weekend, at the age of 40, is so sad. While I won’t pretend that Peter was a close friend, he was someone I dealt with a lot during my long years at Publishing News, and I like to think that we had a warm relationship. I always found him unfailingly helpful and witty. He wouldn’t mind taking the time to explain a complicated issue, and he was generous with off-the-record briefings, managing to steer that difficult line between revelation and discretion. He was also a keen tennis player – we used to swap stories – and he was always the figure you liked to see approaching when you were at the bar at a conference somewhere. You knew that good company was about to arrive.
In short, to use that time-honoured, quintessentially English (and Australian) phrase, he was a good bloke – and they can sometimes be hard to find the higher you go in companies. My thoughts go out to his wife, the publisher Clare Ledingham, and their three children.