Total appoints new chairman and chief exec

Caitlin Morrison
Follow Caitlin
OIL FIRM Total has named two successors for its chief executive and chairman Christophe de Margerie, who died in a plane crash in Moscow on Monday night.

Following a meeting of the company’s governance and ethics committee yesterday, Total announced that it had separated the role into two positions, and named Thierry Desm­arest as chairman and Patrick Pou­y­anne as chief executive.

Desmarest, 68, joined the French company in 1981 and was previously honorary chairman of the Total board.

His role as chairman will conclude at the end of 2015 in accordance with the age limits stipulated in the group’s bylaws. Pouyanne, 51, will then take up the recombined position.

Pouyanne joined in 1997 and was previously president of refining and chemicals, and a member of the executive committee.

His background is in engineering, and between 1989 and 1996, he held various positions in the French Industry Ministry and in ministerial offices, including stints as the environment and industry technical adviser to the Prime Minister from 1993 to 1995 and chief of staff to the information technology and space minister from 1995 to 1996.

Total’s board of directors said it had “paid homage” to de Margerie, and stated: “The exceptional human and professional qualities that Chris­tophe de Margerie exhibited during his time at Total were largely responsible for the success of the group.”

The company’s share price continued to climb yesterday, moving up by more than three per cent.