Christophe de Margerie, Total CEO

Just last October 21, we all heard a loud thud from Russia. It was a plane crash. And Total’s chief executive, Christophe de Margerie was on board.

Another leader was lost.

De Margerie joined Total way back in 1974, climbed up the corporate ladder, and eventually becoming its CEO in 2007. And like many responsible CEOs, he oversaw many operations – from Indonesia to the Middle East to Kazakhstan.

And of course, Russia.

But what’s admirable is his stance. Amid conflicts, he maintained relationships. Despite sanctions, he maintained company investments. More importantly, he stood up for the company against allegations of corruption on the UNs oil-for-food programme in Iraq.


Corruption, if unchecked, is one major reason for a company’s downfall as you know.

With all De Margerie’s negotiating and partnering, one would think that this is just part of a head honcho’s work, no big deal. True. Then again, it shows commitment to his work, and that until his fateful flight.

The Big Moustache as he is fondly referred to will be remembered for his dedication, more than other CEOs would be remembered for their golfing. Who’s on the 18th hole now?

What’s your take?