Total Names Refining Boss to Replace de Margerie 

French oil company Total has appointed refining boss Patrick Pouyanne as chief executive to succeed Christophe de Margerie who was killed in a plane crash in Moscow this week.
Pouyanne, 51, head of refining, had been considered as possible candidate to succeed de Margerie in the past and has a reputation as a shrewd cost-cutter. The world’s fourth largest oil company also named Thierry Desmarest, a former Total CEO, as non-executive chairman. The appointments came less than 48 hours after de Margerie’s death. Desmarest, 68, also previously honorary chairman of the oil group, will keep the chairman position until the end of 2015, after which the roles of CEO and chairman will be combined, Total said in a statement following an emergency board meeting. De Margerie was both chairman and CEO. Total’s choice of a man from the downstream business comes just over a year after rival Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) elevated Ben van Beurden, who formerly headed the Anglo-Dutch group’s refining arm, to become chief executive.

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