Francis Pickthall, CPL Aromas’ Global Marketing Director and one of the members of the family which founded the Group, tragically died on Friday 1st March 2019 after a short battle with cancer. He was 51. He leaves behind his wife, Jacqueline, and two young children, Grace and Leo.
Francis joined CPL in 1985, when he began his career as a trainee perfumer working under the late Michael Pickthall and later with Robert Calkin. During this time, Francis developed a passion for the business and learned a wide variety of aspects of the fragrance industry. A member of the British Society of Perfumers, Francis went on to establish himself as a successful perfumer creating well- known market products such as Penhaligon’s Racquets Formula fragrance. Michael Pickthall, Co-Founder of CPL and Creative Perfumer died in 1989 leaving Francis, for a time, as CPL’s only perfumer. Francis held the company together in perfumery terms at a very young age and until the company was able to recruit other perfumers.
Francis became more involved in the commercial side of the business, developing overseas markets such as the Middle East, Europe and South America, later becoming joint Managing Director of the UK division prior to the company’s flotation on the London Stock Exchange.
Francis was closely involved in establishing CPL Dubai, thanks to his detailed knowledge of the Middle East market, and he also successfully led the project to build CPL Dubai’s factory in Jebel Ali, which is still the only fragrance factory in Dubai. Francis also served as General Manager, CPL Dubai, over this time before returning to the UK to oversee the group’s global marketing and branding. Whilst back in the UK, Francis became a member of the IFRA UK executive committee in 2009 and later went on to chair the organisation.
But the lure of the sunshine was too strong and Francis returned with his young family to Dubai in 2013 as Global Marketing and Branding Director, where he also enjoyed working with key clients in the region and where he also maintained a keen interest in perfumery.
Francis worked on many projects and investments for CPL around the world. Most recently, he led the project to build a new Head Office replacing the iconic Barrington Hall with the stunning Innovation House. Francis also brilliantly led the Group’s rebranding project in 2017 and CPL’s new brand identity is a tribute to Francis’ creativity and a constant reminder of the integral role he played within the company.
Francis worked with so many members of the CPL divisions around the world and he will always be remembered as being open and approachable, kind and supportive of all employees. He wasn’t just seen a member of the main board, he also became a good friend to many.
Outside of work Francis was a keen football fan supporting Tottenham Hotspur along with his brothers, Nick & Chris. He also had a great passion for music, motor racing and cricket.
Chris and Nick announced the news of his brother’s passing on Linkedin and on the company’s Sharepoint system with the following message: ‘We are so sorry and sad to tell you that our beloved brother, Francis, lost his short and brutal battle with cancer and died last Friday. The loss to our family and company is immeasurable. Rest in peace Bro. Love Nick & Chris x’
Chemicals Knowledge Editor's note: We are shocked and saddened by the news of Francis' passing. This is a terrible loss to so many of his friends and family, and his colleagues across the industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pickthall family. May he rest in peace.