PARIS (AFP) – Total on Wednesday named Patrick Pouyanne, currently head of refining and chemicals, as its new chief executive while former CEO Thierry Desmarest was appointed chairman, a union source told AFP.
The nominations at an emergency meeting of the French oil giant’s board of directors came after chief executive Christophe de Margerie died in a plane crash in Moscow on Monday.
The union source said the nominations were permanent and not interim appointments as had previously been expected.
Desmarest, who was CEO and chairman of the group from 1995 to 2007 before handing the executive reins to De Margerie, will “then clear the way for Pouyanne to become both chief executive and chairman”, the source added.
Russian experts have said that the plane crash on Monday evening was caused by criminal negligence on the part of senior airport officials.
De Margerie’s private jet was taking off when it hit a snowplough.