BrandArena: Total appoints Patrick Pouyanné Global CEO

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Total appoints Patrick Pouyanné Global CEO

Christophe Margerie
The Board of Directors of Total of France has named Patrick Pouyanné its Chief Executive to succeed Christophe de Margerie, who died in an airplane accident in Moscow on the night of October 20-21, 2014.

Patrick Pouyanné, Total’s President of Refining & Chemicals, was selected by Total’s board in Paris today (22 October) to be the company’s new CEO and President. The board of dircetors also appointed a new chairman, Thierry Desmarest. Today, Total’s board also paid homage to its former chairman and CEO, describing him as an “exceptional human.”

“He dedicated his brilliant career to the development of the group, enabling its glowing success in the oil and gas sector and more recently in solar energy,” Total said in a statement.

“The exceptional human and professional qualities that Christophe de Margerie exhibited during his time at Total were largely responsible for the success of the Group.”

The new leadership at Total comes at a time when the global industry is facing cut backs in capital spending. De Margerie, who had worked at Total since 1974, and had been its CEO since 2007, has recently been discussing the need for capital discipline.

At the firm’s investor day last month, Total said its production should grow to about 2.8MMboe/d in 2017, as 15 major projects start-up in the period from now. But, the firm said strict capital discipline will also be key.

The firm will be selling an additional US$10 billion of assets in 2015-17, on top of $15-20 billion due to have been sold off in 2012-14. Organic investment, which reached a peak of $28 billion in 2013, was projected to decrease to $26 billion in 2014 and to $25 billion in 2017.

The group also announced a major program to reduce operating costs by $2 billion/yr by 2017, with an immediate impact as of 2015, without compromising a priority to safety.

Total is the fourth-largest of the Western multinational oil majors by market capitalization, after Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, and the second- largest company in France.

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