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Obituary: Alan White

Alan White, former head of global technical operations, died peacefully in his sleep at home in France on 26 September, aged 60.

Alan joined Reuters in Bahrain in 1984 having worked in the Gulf with Cable & Wireless. He moved to Hong Kong in 1986 to become operations manager, Reuters Asia and my deputy. In 1990 he moved to Japan to take the new post of operations director, North East Asia.

When I left Reuters Asia in 1992 he took over as technical director, Reuters Asia. During his time in the Far East he proved to be an outstanding operations manager, staying very cool and in command when others around him were flapping. He had many achievements but those he will be best remembered for was the move of the Main Technical Centre, initially from Hong Kong to Tokyo and then planning for the move of the MTC from Tokyo to Singapore. 

He took up his first Reuters post in the UK at the end of 1994 as international systems strategy and project manager and had various roles in Operations before taking up his last post as head of global technical operations in June 2000. His major achievements whilst in London were setting up a global communications strategy, including the formation of Radianz and the establishment of a global operations function which controlled the world’s data centres. Alan took early retirement at the end of 2000.

Alan was a man of few words but what he did say was usually sensible and constructive. His Mancunian wit was brilliant and he regularly had his Japanese staff tied up in knots not knowing whether he was being serious or not. He had a fantastic relationship with his staff in Hong Kong and Tokyo and they loved him dearly. This was evident by the many that turned up for his farewell party in London, most of whom travelled at their own expense.

After Alan left Reuters he divided his time between his home in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire and his property in France.

He is survived by his wife Val and his children Andrew, Steve and Julia. ■