President, French elite honor late Total CEO

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PARIS (AP) — President Francois Hollande has joined French business leaders, political elite and international diplomats to pay respects to the chief of French oil powerhouse Total, who died in a plane crash in Russia last week.

Total SA Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie, whose trademark white handlebar mustache and cherubic demeanor made him known and appreciated by many French, was being honored Monday at a funeral at Paris' Saint-Sulpice church.

Margerie and three French crew members were killed Oct. 20, when the business jet they were in clipped an airport snowplow on takeoff at Moscow's Vnukovo airport, crashed and burst into flames.

Total, one of the world's largest hydrocarbon producers, is among France's most valuable companies in terms of market capitalization and a major player of French international business.