Pierre Peugeot, the head of the Peugeot family and chairman of the PSA Peugeot Citroen supervisory board, died Sunday. He was 70.
During his time as member of PSAs management committee from 1972 to 1998 and chairman of the board from that date, Peugeot worked to keep the family united and the company independent.
As a result, PSA is one of the few car companied still controlled by the founders family. On June 30, the family owned 26.46 percent of shares, and 40.46 percent of the voting rights.
In an interview with Automotive News Europe earlier this year, Peugeot said he wished the family would raise its shareholding to 50 percent to ensure a stable management and strategy. He was concerned that the familys substantial percentage of voting rights might one day suddenly drop, if a government decided to abolish the system of double-voting shares. This would make PSA vulnerable to a takeover bid.
Pierre Peugeot played a key role in mapping out the groups long-term strategy, said PSA spokesman Hugues Dufour.
Together with his cousins Roland and Bertrand, Peugeot refused to tie PSA with other groups through share exchanges, preferring to form ad hoc ventures on specific projects. He supported Jean-Martin Folzs ascent to the job of PSA CEO, chairing the management committee, following Jacques Calvet.
Peugeot will be replaced on the board by Jean Boillot, who was vice chairman.
The board will soon meet to elect a new chairman, widely expected to belong to the family. At present the family has two representatives within the board: Jean-Philippe Peugeot, who will turn 50 in May, and who long headed Peugeot team in charge of sales to government services. He is the son of Roland Peugeot.
There is also Marie-Helene Roncoroni, 41, a daughter of Pierre Peugeot. A former analyst with accounting firm Peat Marwick who then worked in PSAs finance department, she interrupted her career to take care of her children. A business school graduate, Pierre Peugeot had spent all his life within the group, starting as assistant manager at the Sochaux plant, in eastern France, in 1957.