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Stéphane Desmarais - Last CEO of Desmarais Frères, Vice-president of Total-Compagnie française de distribution

Born April 8, 1905 in Paris. Lycée Condorcet (Paris), Sciences Po. Son of Paul Desmarais, who runed the company with his brother Lucien, he became statutory manager of the Desmarais company in 1934, when he died. CEO from 1965 to 1968, then, after the absorption of the Desmarais group by the CFP and the CFR vice-president of Total Compagnie française de distribution. Director of the CFP (Compagnie Française des pétroles), CFR, SNPA, as well as other companies of the Total Group. Remains President of FIDIC (Financière Desmarais for industry and commerce), which remains a shareholder in several Total's overseas marketing subsidiaries. Stéphane Desmarais is the architect of bringing his company closer to the CFP. Until 1959 Robert Cayrol, who is managing director of Desmarais Frères, defended its interests with energy, even against Total, but after his death (1959), you had to be pragmatic. The Desmarais company, very established in French territory, with a brand well known to the public, had never fully recovered from the destruction of the Second World War (the depots and the fleets suffered overall a lot). In 1964 the Azur network had six thousand service stations and 9.6% market share; Total has 7000 service stations and 15.5% market share; Esso and Shell, with 5,600 stations each, have a market share of 18.5% each: the effort to be made at the time of the merger with Total is beyond the means of the company. In addition, it has retained an outdated management and social relations method: again in the 1980s, at the FIDIC headquarters, we met “Monsieur Stéphane”.

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