There have been stunned reactions from the French business community to the news of the death in a boating acident of Edouard Michelin, considered to be one of France’s top corporate leaders. Michelin was on a fishing trip off the coast of Brittany on the Atlantic coast, his body was recovered near the island of Sein near cape Finisterre. At this stage its not clear what caused the accident.He was married with 6 children.
Edouard Michelin succeeded his father Francois as head of the tyre firm in 1999. During his tenure the company was modernized and job cuts contributed to making the group more competitive.
Laurence Parisot head of the French employers organistion the MEDEF, says she feels overcome with emotion:“Everybody joins in the sorrow of Edouard Michelin’s family , his wife and children. It has to be accepted that France has lost a very great busines leader, someone who could achieve a great deal not just for his company but for the economy of the country”.
At the Clermont Ferrand tyre works, staff reacted with disbelief.“I can’t believe he is dead said one worker. “Shocking, this was a real boss”, said another.
Management is now in the hand of joint chairman Michel Rollier. The group faces challenges including tough competition and rising raw material costs.