Tributes pour in for "calm and wise" David Tebbutt

Tributes pour in for "calm and wise" David Tebbutt

Former colleagues of Faber finance director David Tebbutt have paid warm tributes to him this morning, amid widespread shock over the circumstances of his death.

Christopher Maclehose, who worked with Tebbutt at The Harvill Press, called him "an excellent financial director, absurdly modest, calm, wise and meticulous and unfailingly good natured", saying he would be "lastingly missed". Maclehose called it "unbearably sad" that Tebbutt should have died in a continent he loved, and said it was "impossible now to think other than of his wife and their son".

A Faber spokesperson said: "Everyone at Faber is devastated by the death of our friend and colleague and the news that his wife has been abducted. We would like to thank everyone for their kind messages. However, at this very difficult time our thoughts are with their family and we will not be commenting further."

Picador publisher Paul Baggaley, a former marketing director at Harvill, said Tebbutt was a "very thoughtful, practical, sensible person" in handling the challenges faced by a small independent publisher in a difficult retail environment. He said: "He was totally straight—there was no side to him. He was unfailingly polite and supportive to his colleagues."

Agent Carole Blake, who knew Tebbutt from his decade on the board of the Book Trade Charity, said its whole board was "just devastated" by his death. She described Tebbutt as "so generous with his time, so much fun, and astoundingly dedicated".

Suzy Jenvey, formerly editorial director of children's books at Faber, called Tebbutt an "exceptionally decent, kind and creative" colleague, while Adrian Driscoll of Aimer Media, a contemporary of Tebbutt's in his years at Routledge, remembered him as "calm, smart and sympathetic" in assisting young editors.

Palgrave senior publisher Rebecca Barden, another former Routledge editor, said: "David was a person of huge integrity, intelligence and kindness, one of the people who made Routledge a wonderful and inspiring place to work."

Tebbutt was shot dead in a gang attack at the Kenyan tourist resort of Kiwayu yesterday (11th September). His wife Judith was kidnapped.