Hollande leads tributes at Total's de Margerie memorial

Hollande leads tributes at Total's de Margerie memorial

Monday, October 27, 2014 11:59 am

French President Francois Hollande led tributes to Total’s former chief executive at a memorial service on Monday, a week after his private jet crashed at a Moscow airport.

Top figures from the world of finance and politics, including IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, also gathered at Paris’s Saint-Sulpice church to remember Christophe de Margerie.

Christophe de Margerie: memorial in Paris

Christophe de Margerie: memorial in Paris

De Margerie died last week when his private jet hit a snowplough during take-off at Vnukovo airport in Moscow.

The snowplough driver was accused of being drunk before the incident and Russian media reported that an intern was in charge of directing air traffic at the time of the crash.

During his time as CEO, De Margerie worked closely with Russia and had plans to invest in Russian energy. Hours before the crash, he met Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to discuss foreign investment in Russia.

After his death, Russian President Vladimir Putin described De Margerie as “a true friend of our country, whom we will remember with the greatest warmth”.

Total recently named Patrick Pouyanne as the new chief executive, while former Total CEO, Thierry Desmarest, was appointed chairman.

Following the memorial service, De Margerie will be buried Tuesday morning in a small private ceremony in Normandy, northern France.

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