Patrick Pouyanne has been appointed as the director general of the French oil giant Total, the company’s board of directors said following an emergency meeting on Wednesday.
Thierry Desmarest has been named as the president of the corporation without executive functions.
The post of Total’s CEO became vacant after the death of Christophe de Margerie in the jet’s crash at the Moscow airport on Monday.
Pouyanne, 51, has been working for Total for around 20 years. In January 2012, Pouyanne was appointed President, Refining & Chemicals and member of the Executive Committee.
He graduated from the French engineering schools Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Mines in Paris. Most top managers of the Total corporation are graduates of this university.
French businessman Desmarest was also Chief Executive Officer at Total from May 1995 until February 2007, when he was replaced by Christophe de Margerie.
Total has a tradition to choose high-ranking executives from the company’s employees.
Christophe de Margerie was killed shortly before midnight Moscow time on Monday (7.57 pm GMT) when the Falcon jet carrying him collided with a snowplow during takeoff, caught fire and fell onto the runway. Three crewmembers, all of them French citizens, also died in the crash.