His corporate jet collided with a snow plough and was then engulfed in flames. All four people on board were killed.
The driver of the snow plough was drunk, according to Russian investigators.
63 year old Mr de Margerie, had been chief executive of Europe’s third largest oil company since 2007. He was highly regarded within the oil industry.
A statement from the office of French President Francois Hollande said:
“Christophe de Margerie dedicated his life to French industry and to building up the Total group. He made it into one of the very top global companies.
“Francois Hollande cherished Christophe de Margerie’s independent character, original personality and his devotion to his country.”
Sad may his soul rest in peace!