Founder and CEO of agency Wolfenden has died

Ben Wolfenden, who was the founder and CEO of Leeds-based digital marketing agency Wolfenden, has died after a struggle with cystic fibrosis.

His wife Daisy, who is managing director of the business, confirmed he died on the evening of Friday 21 January.

Announcing the news on LinkedIn, she said: “Ben had Cystic Fibrosis, and due to complications following a double lung transplant in 2019 his body was in chronic decline.

“So many people donated to help Ben pursue life-saving treatment, sadly the treatment wasn’t granted – but it allowed us a year of hope, a beautiful year of memories created and moments of freedom for Ben in Geneva that I wouldn’t have previously thought possible.

“Ben’s condition has worsened over recent weeks to a point his body could no longer sustain.

“He wanted it to be known that he tried to live to the full right till the end, he fought so hard and tried to treasure every moment.

“Despite a life dominated by pain his humour and courage shone brightly and his smile touched the hearts of all who met him. Ben was a wonderful friend, mentor, colleague, father, family member and husband. We miss him now and forever.”

Staff at the agency also paid tribute via LinkedIn, commenting: “Today we process the sad news that our CEO, our founder, our inspiration – Ben Wolfenden – has passed away.

“It’s a struggle for any of us to find the words to do Ben justice, but the legacy he leaves in his family and our agency will live on.

“Your team misses you already Ben, we will continue to make you proud.”

Ben Wolfenden, who had two children, was named Leeds Digital Festival’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020.

After catching flu in 2019 he had an emergency double lung transplant when he was just moments from death.

While the operation was a success, a catastrophic miscalculation with his medication five weeks later caused his body to initially reject his new lungs.