Total's CEO Says Successor Will Be Company Insider


PARIS, May 16 (Reuters) - Total's chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, says the French oil major will pick his successor from candidates within the company and would not seek outsiders, in keeping with tradition at France's biggest listed company.

"At Total there's a strong logic for the chairman and CEO to come from within the group," De Margerie told newspaper La Tribune in an interview published on its website on Friday.

"There are already enough of us, we have enough talents inside to do that, if that wasn't the case, I wouldn't have done my job well. Because my mission is also to groom a successor."

De Margerie, who will turn 63 this year, has been at the helm of Total since 2007 and holds both the chairman and chief executive roles, a common situation in France.

His mandate runs until 2015 and Total's board will ask shareholders at the group's annual general meeting later on Friday to raise the age limits for the two positions, a move that would allow an extension of de Margerie's term.

The Frenchman said earlier this year he would be seeking re-election in 2015 but declined to say if he had already found a successor.

No heir apparent has emerged so far, although Philippe Boisseau, head of Total's new energy division and Patrick Pouyanne, head of the refining branch are often cited as credible long-term candidates.

Arnaud Breuillac, who last year was promoted as deputy head of the group's upstream business, has also taken a more public role in recent months and will join the group's executive committee in October.

Shares in Total have risen more than 16 percent this year, reaching a five-and-a-half-year high of 53.08 euros last week.

(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Greg Mahlich)


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