Total CEO dies in Moscow plane crash

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The CEO of French oil giant Total, Christophe de Margerie, 63, has died.

According to Reuters, de Margerie’s private jet hit a snow plow when taking off from Moscow on Monday night.

Total has several elements in motorsports; it serves as a sponsor for Lotus’ F1 Team and has been a longtime supporter of Romain Grosjean; it serves as pole sponsor for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship P, PC and GTD classes; and it’s been a longtime rally supporter.

A statement from IMSA’s CEO Ed Bennett reads:

“On behalf of the International Motor Sports Association, I offer our deepest condolences to family and friends of TOTAL CEO Christophe de Margerie, along with the other airplane passengers who tragically passed away yesterday in Russia,” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. “I also wish to extend condolences to the staff and employees at TOTAL on the loss of their dynamic leader in the oil industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Added Pierre Fillon, president of the ACO: “The Automobile Club de l’Ouest was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Christophe de Margerie, the Total CEO. In the name of the ACO and all its collaborators I would like to express my condolences to Mr. de Margerie’s family and close friends, as well as to those of the members of the crew who so tragically died with him. In this terrible time our thoughts are with all the collaborators of the Total Group, a major faithful partner of the ACO and its activities beginning with the Le Mans 24 Hours and its offshoots. A great captain of industry with whom we shared the passion for innovation and mobility for the benefit of everybody has left us.”

Total is both France’s second biggest company overall and fourth largest Western oil company, behind Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell, and Chevron, the Reuters report said.

Whether this will have any impact on Total’s motorsports programs remains to be seen.

For now though, we extend our sympathies.