PARIS (May 26) — Michelin Chairman Edouard Michelin died today at age 43 in a boating accident in the Atlantic Ocean off the French Brittany coast.
Michelin´s body was recovered by the French Coast Guard near the island of Sein this afternoon, according to French news reports. His companion on the boat, the president of a regional fishing committee, has not been located.
In a statement, Michelin said the tragedy is an "immense sadness for his family" and for the company´s 130,000 employees. Michel Rollier, co-managing partner with Eduoard Michelin, will step into the void, the company said, "ensuring continuity of the group´s management."
Michelin, the son of former managing partner Francois Michelin and great-grandson of company co-founder Edouard Michelin, had worked for the company since 1985 and had worked in a variety of positions — including general manager of manufacturing and truck tire distribution in North America — before being named a managing partner in 1991. He became chairman in 1999, succeeding his father, Francois Michelin.
He was the youngest of Francois Michelin´s four sons.