French oil company Total yesterday confirmed the death of its chairman and chief executive Christophe de Margerie “with deep regret and great sadness”.
De Margerie, 63, was killed at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow on Monday night, when the private plane he was on collided with a snow plough. Three crew members on the plane also died.
Total said: “The thoughts of the management and employees of the group go out to Christophe de Margerie’s wife, children and loved ones, as well as to the families of the other victims.”
The firm’s chief administrative officer, Jean-Jacques Guilbaud, said yesterday: “Mr de Margerie devoted his life to building and promoting Total in France and internationally. As he would have wished, the company must continue to move forward. Total is organised to ensure the continuity of both its governance and its business, allowing it to manage the consequences of this tragic loss.”
He said the board of directors would meet as soon as possible to make “the necessary decisions”.
Total’s share price rallied yesterday, and was up 3.34 per cent at close of trading.
De Margerie opposed Western economic sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, and was in the country to attend a meeting on foreign investment at Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s country residence in Gorki.