PARIS (May 26, 2006) — Group Michelin Chairman Edouard Michelin died today at age 43 in a boating accident in the Atlantic Ocean off the French Brittany coast.
Mr. 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 Mr. Michelin, will step into the void, Michelin said, “ensuring continuity of the group's management.”
Mr. Michelin, son of former managing partner Francois Michelin and great-grandson of company co-founder Edouard Michelin, had worked for the company since 1985 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.