Christophe de Margerie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Christophe de Margerie
Christophe Jacquin de Margerie (besoindair) 2009-09-04.jpg
de Margerie in 2009
Christophe Rodocanachi

(1951-08-06)6 August 1951
Died20 October 2014(2014-10-20) (aged 63)
Moscow, Russia
EducationESCP Europe
OccupationCEO of Total S.A
Years active2007–2014
Board member ofTotal S.A.
RelativesPierre Taittinger (grandfather)

Christophe de Margerie (6 August 1951 – 20 October 2014) was a French businessman. He served as the chairman and chief executive officer of French oil corporation Total S.A..[1]

Early life[edit]

Christophe de Margerie was born in Mareuil-sur-Lay-Dissais, France, on 6 August 1951. His parents were Pierre-Alain Rodocanachi and Colette Taittinger. His mother later married Pierre-Alain Jacquin de Margerie, who adopted him.[2]

Margerie was the grandson of Pierre Taittinger, founder of Jeunesses Patriotes, and the half-brother of Victoire de Margerie, the current CEO of Rondol.


Margerie joined the Total Group, Total S.A., after graduating from ESCP Europe in Paris in 1974. He started working for Total in the Finance Department and Exploration & Production division.

He became president of Total Middle East in 1995 before joining the group's executive committee as president of the Exploration & Production division in May 1999. In January 2002 he became president of the Exploration & Production division of Total.

He was appointed a member of the board of directors on 12 May 2006 and became CEO of on 14 February 2007. From 21 May 2010, he served as chairman of the company.

De Margerie had strong ties with many countries and in particular with Russia. The company's interests in the region was capitalizing and skirting the International sanctions during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine put into place by United States over the Ukrainian crises. De Margerie, the charismatic person aka "Big Mustache", was an astute strategist who recognized that the sanctions had placed the Total Group at a distinct advantage to the restrained international competitors. He down played the situation by saying that “it was not the first time there was a crisis between Europe and Russia”. Russia's President Vladimir Putin paid tribute to de Margerie as a “true friend of our country” via telegram to the French President, Mr Hollande; further stating, de Margerie had “pioneered many of the major joint projects and laid the foundation for many years of fruitful co-operation between France and Russia in the energy sector”.'[3]

On 23 July 2011, he and 15 other heads of French companies asked the French government to pay more taxes.[4]


De Margerie died in an aircraft crash in Moscow on 20 October 2014, along with the three-member crew (Yann Pican, Maxime Rassiat and Ruslana Vervelle).[5] The aircraft, the Dassault Falcon 50, hit a snowplow on take-off from the Vnukovo International Airport.[6][7][8]

De Margerie was returning to Paris after a meeting at the dacha of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, near Moscow, subsequent to a business leaders' meeting in Gorky. The two men had been discussing investments in Russia amid the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in the East of Ukraine and the resulting Western sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of the standoff.[2] French authorities opened a manslaughter investigation.[9]


A Sovcomflot LNG carrier was named after de Margerie in 2017.[10][11]


  1. ^ "Biographies – Executive Committee". Total. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Michelson, Marcel. "Total CEO, Oil Buccaneer, Dies In Moscow Plane Crash". Forbes. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  3. ^ Stothard, Michael. "Total chief Christophe de Margerie dies in Moscow air crash". Financial Times. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  4. ^ "RU Facts, Christophe de Margerie – a director who wanted to pay more taxes, 21 October 2014". Archived from the original on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Total CEO Christophe de Margerie killed in Moscow plane accident – airport spokeswoman". Reuters. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  6. ^ "CEO of French oil giant Total dies in jet crash at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  7. ^ CEO of French oil giant Total dies in jet crash at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport Russia Today Online, 20 October 2014
  8. ^ Concerning the Runway Incursion Accident of October 20, 2014,, retrieved 21 October 2014
  9. ^ Total boss killed in plane crash: investigators blame drunk driver The Guardian 21 October 2014
  10. ^ "Unique ice-breaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie ready to serve Yamal LNG project". Hellenic Shipping News. March 31, 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  11. ^ McGrath, Matt (24 August 2017). "First tanker crosses northern sea route without ice breaker". BBC News. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
Business positions
Preceded by
Thierry Desmarest
CEO of Total S.A.
Succeeded by
Patrick Pouyanné