October 22, 2014 / 7:44 AM / in 3 years

Total board to consider split of CEO/Chairman roles: Les Echos

PARIS (Reuters) - The board of French oil group Total (TOTF.PA) will meet on Wednesday to consider splitting the chairman and chief executive roles previously held by Christophe de Margerie, who died in a plane crash in Moscow on Monday, Les Echos newspaper reported.

View of French oil giant Total headquarters in the financial district of la Defense near Paris March 8, 2010. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Former Chief Executive Thierry Desmarest, currently honorary chairman, will propose that he become non-executive chairman of Total while head of refining, Patrick Pouyanne, would become chief executive, the newspaper said on its website.

If the appointments are accepted by the board at the meeting, due to start at 4:30 a.m. EDT, they will then have to be approved by shareholders, as Pouyanne is not yet a member of the board, Les Echos said.

A spokesman for Total declined to comment.

De Margerie, 63, was killed when his private jet hit a snow plough as it was taking off from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport on Monday night.

His death leaves a void at the top of one of the world’s biggest listed oil firms at a difficult time for the industry, as oil prices fall and state-backed competitors keep them out of some of the best oil exploration territory.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Clara Ferreira Marques

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