Phil Ruthven

IBISWorld Founder and Director

Phil Ruthven

Phil Ruthven, the founder of IBISWorld, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, on Friday, 29th July 2022 at the age of 82.

A forecaster, entrepreneur and storyteller, Phil was born and raised in Sydney, with Melbourne being home since the late 1960s, Phil spent over 10-years in the food industry, including executive positions in research, production and marketing for Edgells and Petersville, before establishing IBIS Corporate Services as a consulting firm in 1971.

A long-time contributor to TV, radio, newspapers and business magazines, Phil was sought-after for his views on topics ranging from business and strategy, through to economic and social issues. He didn’t mind being called a “Futurist” either, he had a great knack for seeing what was ahead over the next 20-years or more.

Phil undertook a variety of roles in addition to his day job, such as Adjunct Professor at The University of Technology (Sydney), and a member of the ANU College of Business & Economics Advisory Board. He was a past board member of the Melbourne Institute, CEDA and a past Director of Open Family Australia. Homelessness and education were Phil’s focus in his philanthropic pursuits, with his decades of dedication in doing his bit to make Australia a better place for the underprivileged.

In 2014, Phil became a Member of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his significant service to business and the community, in Phil’s self-effacing style, he said “I’m certainly humbled and proud to accept this but holy cow, my mother did ten-times as much as I did for the community and never received one – Mum, this is for you”.

The move from consulting to the delivery of online intelligence direct to desktops was a huge shift for IBISWorld, as was embarking on the information-hungry US economy. Phil had the joy of watching IBISWorld establish a reputation as an essential industry and company intelligence provider for businesses of almost any size.

Although Phil remained on the board of IBISWorld until his passing he stood down as chairman in 2015. He passed executive control of the business to his children in 2001. He spent the next 20 years of his retirement educating Australia’s business community on the keys to business success- probably his biggest passion in life.

Phil’s vision was for IBISWorld to be the world leader in business information. It brought him great satisfaction and pride that this vision was successfully executed in various iterations over the last 20 years.