Obituary: Paul Rouse, businessman

Paul Rouse, who has died at 76, was a marketeer, entrepreneur and musician who became a Freeman of the City of London but whose career was spent largely in Yorkshire.

Paul Rouse

Paul Rouse who has died at 76, was a marketeer, entrepreneur and musician who became a Freeman of the City of London but whose career was spent largely in Yorkshire.

Born in Bingley, he attended St Bede’s Grammar in Bradford but left at age 15, considering it to be a waste of his time.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He took a job as an office boy at a Bradford advertising agency – a post which in 1960 paid £1 per week. But he was earning 10 times that in his spare time as a musician.

He attended art and design classes at night school and by 21 had become advertising manager of the Leeds-based tailor John Collier, whose TV jingle, “The window to watch”, followed by a roll on the timpani, had made it a household name.

Several more high-profile positions, including head of marketing at Allied Carpets, led him back to Leeds as the marketing chief at William Hill where he helped to develop the sophisticated communications systems that their betting shops use today.

He and a colleague bought the telephone information division in 1992 by way of a management buyout, and in three years developed it into a public company, IMS plc.

But a year into public ownership, he found himself at odds with the board on future strategy and he retired at age 53. He spent the next 20 years enjoying his holiday home in the Lake District, and touring Europe in various desirable cars.

He is survived by his wife, Joy, whom he married in 1969.