(Reuters) – Total Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne was appointed as chairman of the French oil and gas giant on Wednesday, combining both roles a year after they were split following the death of Christophe de Margerie, who had held both positions.
The roles had been divided between Pouyanne, 52, who became chief executive, and Thierry Desmarest, who was recalled to take the role of chairman after Margerie’s death.
Desmarest, who will turn 70 on Friday, will step down due to rules on age limits. He had previously served as chairman and CEO of the company from 1995 to 2007, and then continued solely as chairman until 2010.
“Patrick Pouyanne will provide the leadership required in an environment demanding discipline and innovation,” Desmarest said in a statement.
Patricia Barbizet, an independent director, was appointed as lead independent director, a new role created to oversee Total’s governance structure, and chair the firm’s governance and ethics committee.
The board also declared Total’s second quarter dividend at 0.61 euros per share to be paid in cash or discounted new shares.
It said the share price for the new shares which will be issued as payment of the second quarter interim dividend, was set by the board at 39.77 euros ($43.53).
($1 = 0.9137 euros)
(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by James Regan and Mark Potter)
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