Shopper founder and chief Ben Walker passes away

Shopper co-founder and dynamic industry contributor dies aged 47

Ben Walker
Ben Walker

Founder and CEO of out-of-home media company Shopper, Ben Walker, has passed away aged 47.

The dynamic industry player, who established the Shopper business in partnership with co-founder, Ed Couche, was found dead on Saturday 15 January after passing away in his sleep. He is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two boys.

Shopper chairman, David Morgan, described Walker as a charismatic chief, a larger-than-life character and an exceptional company leader.

“But above all, he was an extraordinary human being,” Morgan said. “Ben was passionate about the retail media industry, his clients and his Shopper colleagues, who he regarded as his family.

“As a charismatic and visionary leader, Ben built the company with a focus on innovation and people, who he always put first, creating a culture of loyalty and commitment, of which he was very proud. He will be sadly missed by all who worked with him.”

Ben WalkerCredit: Shopper
Ben Walker

Morgan said hundreds of messages had already been received by the business from across the industry from those wishing to express both their sympathy and respect for Walker, known as 'The Great Man'.

“Our thoughts are with his wife, Lisa, and two boys during this incredibly difficult time,” Morgan said. “Those close to him knew Ben viewed his role as a father and family man as his most important job.”

Shopper Media Group was originally founded by Walker and Couche after both built careers in the out-of-home media space. The company now operates across a digital media network across more than 420 shopping centres nationally and has reported industry recognition as the highest growth offline media company in real dollar terms for both 2019 and 2020 (SMI). Alongside Walker, backers include Seven West Media MD and CEO, James Warburton, and Fortitude partners, Nick Miller and Sam O’Connor.   

The Outdoor Media Association also expressed its condolences on Walker's passing.

"Ben was a passionate supporter of out-of-home, and an extraordinary friend to many in the industry. At the OMA we loved collaborating with him, because he truly believed that 'a rising tide floats all boats," the association stated in a post. "He shared his experience, wealth of knowledge, and company resources unhesitatingly - and we are all better for it."  

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