French oil company Total has named Patrick Pouyanné, currently president of refining & chemicals, as the company’s new CEO, after the loss of CEO and chairman Christophe de Margerie in a plane crash in Moscow.
The company’s board of directors announced the separation of the roles of CEO and chairman, previously presided over by de Margerie, bringing back Thierry Desmarest to take on the role of chairman of the board.
de Margerie had been with Total for over 40 years, and was appointed CEO in February 2007. He and three crew members passed away on October 20 in a private plane crash at Vnukuvo Airport in Moscow, after a collision with a snow removal machine.
Desmarest, the new chairman, led this role previously from 2007 to 2010, and had since been the board’s honorary chairman.
His new role as chairman will conclude at the end of 2015 in accordance with the age limits stipulated in the company’s bylaws, post which the positions of chairman and CEO will be recombined, said the company in a statement.
The new CEO, Pouyanné, who until now led refining & chemicals for Total, was credited with the segment’s transformation over the past 14 years.
Following the designation of a board member to represent employee shareholders, scheduled for November 4, 2014, Total’s board will consist of 14 members.