Total SA has picked a new management team to oversee the company in the wake of a plane crash in Moscow that killed its chairman and CEO earlier this week.
Christophe de Margerie, CEO of the Paris-based chemical giant, was on board a private plane taking off from Moscow's Vnukovo Airport the night of Oct. 20 when it collided with a snowplow on the runway, then burst into flames.
De Margerie and all three crew members died. Press reports from Moscow quoted investigators who said the plow driver was drunk.
De Margerie had worked at Total since 1974, was named CEO in 2007 and added the chairman's post in 2010.
“Total's employees are deeply appreciative of the support and sympathy received, both in France and in the many countries where Christophe de Margerie was admired and respected,” said Total's Chief Administrative Officer Jean-Jacques Guilbaud in a statement. “Mr. de Margerie devoted his life to building and promoting Total in France and internationally. He was equally devoted to Total's 100,000 employees.
“As he would have wished, the company must continue to move forward.”
The company's board of directors met two days after the crash and on the advice of its governance & ethics committee named Patrick Pouyanné as CEO and Thierry Desmarest as chairman.
Desmarest had preceded de Margerie as both CEO and chairman, and was already serving as a member of the board and its honorary chairman. His new appointment is slated to run until the end of 2015.
Pouyanné previously was president of refining and chemicals for Total and a member of its executive board.
The company's Total Petrochemicals division makes polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene.