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F1 shocked by death of Total CEO, Christophe de Margerie

NEWS STORY
21/10/2014

F1 has been rocked by the death of Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and CEO of Total, in an air crash in Moscow.

De Margerie joined the Total Group after graduating from the 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.

Lotus was among the first to react to the news:

"Lotus F1 Team is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Christophe de Margerie," the Enstone outfit said in a statement. "Total has been a long-standing partner of Lotus F1 Team with Christophe a friend and supporter of the team as well as a close personal friend of Team Principal and Chairman, Gerard Lopez.

"The thoughts of Lotus F1 Team are with the families of Christophe de Margerie and the other three victims of yesterday's plane crash."

"The word 'legend' is often over-used, but in the case of Christophe de Margerie, who was tragically killed in a private aircraft accident at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow last night, it is entirely appropriate," said Eric Boullier.

"Before I say anything else, I want to offer my sincerest condolences to Christophe's wife and family, for whom this cataclysmic event must be almost too painful to bear at this time.

"I also want to extend my sympathies to the family and friends of the three crew members who were killed alongside Christophe.

"As I said in the tweet I wrote as soon as I had heard the news, Christophe was not only a great man but also a great friend. More than that, in fact, I wholeheartedly admired him. A wise, bold, determined and charismatic personality, and a proud Frenchman, he led Total from the front, and, from a Formula 1 point of view, he it was who steered his company's Formula 1 involvement in recent years. He will be very sorely missed."

"We have worked with Christophe de Margerie for many years and always held him in the highest regard,! said Red Bull. "He was brilliant in business and a great man on so many levels.

"It is tragic to lose him in this way and we will miss him. We would like to send our condolences to his wife and family and to all of our colleagues at Total at this very difficult time."

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