Thierry Desmarest

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Thierry Desmarest
Born (1945-12-18) 18 December 1945 (age 71)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Education École Polytechnique, Mines ParisTech
Occupation Honorary chairman Total (2014–)
CEO Total (1995–2007)

Thierry Desmarest (born 18 December 1945 in Paris) is a French businessman. He is the current honorary chairman of Total. He was also Chief Executive Officer at Total from May 1995 until February 2007, when he was replaced by Christophe de Margerie.[1][2][3][4][5]

In 1999, Desmarest had led the TotalFina oil company through the acquisition of a Belgium oil company, Petrofina, for $12 billion. In July 1999, Desmarest had also led the TotalFina enterprise through the acquisition of Elf Acquitaine for $44 billion. It was this procurement that raised TotalFina to the fourth largest oil company in the world.

Desmarest has multinational and continental experience within the oil industry. As a head of the exploration and production department at TotalFina he was stationed in Venezuela and Algeria. During his time over seas, he procured oil and gas reserves to add to Totalfina's oil supply. In 1995, Desmarest he closed a landmark deal with Tehran in Iran making Totalfina the first oil company outside of Iran to drill for oil since 1979. Desmarest's contemporaries have nicknamed him "Le Petit Prince" (The Little Prince).[6]

His position as chairman of the board of directors of Total expired on December 18, 2015, in line with the age limits specified by the group. Thierry Desmarest, still honorary chairman of Total, will remain as a director until the annual shareholders’ meeting on May 24, 2016.


  1. ^ Lesser, Anne (2006). "Thierry Desmarest". Business Biographies. Retrieved 24 January 2010.  via
  2. ^ "Thierry Desmarest". Forbes. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Total's Empire Builder". BusinessWeek. January 10, 2000. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Thierry Desmarest". OECD Forum 2005 speaker profile. OECD. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "RPT-Total appoints Christophe de Margerie as CEO". Reuters. February 13, 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Total's Empire Builder; Bloomberg Businessweek; 1999
Business positions
Preceded by
Serge Tchuruk
CEO of Total S.A.
Succeeded by
Christophe de Margerie