Thomas Bata, owner of the global shoe corporation that bears his name, died in Toronto on 1 September, aged 93. A founding father of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) in 1962, Mr Bata served as BIAC chairman from 1968-1970, and remained active in the organisation, chairing BIAC’s non-member committee at the time of his death.
Mr Bata, who lived in Canada, was born in Prague on 17 September 1914. He was a tenth generation cobbler, and ran the giant Bata Shoe Organisation from the 1940s to the 1980s. The company returned to the Czech Republic in 1989 after the fall of the Soviet bloc, nearly 100 years after the company was founded in 1894. Mr Bata’s passing drew tributes from business and government leaders around the world. See www.biac.org
©OECD Observer No 269 October 2008