The head of French oil giant Total was killed late Monday when his private jet collided with a snow plow on a Moscow runway.
Christophe de Margerie, 63, and three crew members died in the crash, which Russian transportation officials said happened during takeoff at the capital’s Vnukovo International Airport.
Russian investigators believe the plow driver, who survived, was inebriated when the plane clipped the vehicle shortly before midnight local time.
Total confirmed de Margerie’s death on their website Tuesday. The company said the four victims were pronounced dead at the scene.
A Kremlin spokesman quoted by Russian news agency TASS said President Vladimir Putin “has long known de Margerie” and “highly appreciated [his] business skills.”
Known for his bushy moustache and thin, round eyeglasses, de Margerie took over as chief executive officer of Total in 2007. He added Chairman to the title three years later.
The company operates with nearly 100,000 employees in more than 130 countries.