CLERMONT-FERRAND, France—Francois Michelin, head of the company that bears his family name for 47 years, died on April 29 at age 88.
Michelin dedicated his life to the company. He headed it as co-managing director until 1999 when he handed over the reins to a management team that included his son Edouard, who tragically died in a boating accident in 2006.
In a statement, the company called Michelin a visionary and humanitarian who “embodied the values of respect that are the very foundation of our Group's identity.”
“On behalf of the Group's employees, I would like to pay special tribute to this exceptional man who was universally respected for his values, his convictions, and his vision,” Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard said.
Under Michelin's leadership, the company said it experienced unprecedented growth “driven by his passion for innovation as well as his uncompromising attention to quality.”
He was instrumental in transforming the group into an international company that today is the world's second largest tire maker. He retired from active duty with the company in 2002.
The firm did not disclose the circumstances of his death and said funeral arrangements are still being made.