|Birth: ||Aug. 3, 1963|
|Death: ||May 26, 2006|
26 May 2006
Edouard Michelin Dies In Shipwreck Off French Coast
The co-chief executive of the eponymous auto accoutrement firm died Friday in a shipwreck.
According to Gallic police, the Cie Generale des Etablissements Michelin executive was lost in the destruction of a fishing boat, off of the northwest French coast.
A spokesman for the Atlantic maritime prefecture told the AFX news agency that, "Nobody saw anything, nobody heard anything. The sea was calm, but there was a thick fog that didn't lift until the middle of the day."
The firm Michelin took over in 1999 was founded in 1889 by the brothers André and Edouard Michelin. The auto supplier grew under decades of secretive management style. It was run virtually as a family fiefdom, until the youngest Edouard Michelin--great-grandson of his namesake co-founder--changed the course to shape a truly global brand. He started out by working incognito in the company; he also took notes as an apprentice at Michelin's research center in Greenville, S.C. (This earned him the nom de commerce, "L'americain.")
The Continental company had made a second cultural niche with its impeccable Michelin maps and travel guides. It also gave restaurants the world over something to shoot for with its star system. Then there's Bibendum, better known as "the Michelin man"--which is what the company's employees are called in France--the anthropomorphic tire-creature created by poster artist O'Galop in 1898.
The company said its other co-CEO, Michel Rollier, will continue in that post to ensure that management stays its course.
Yes, the firm's name is one of legend. But it dimmed a bit with Friday's news. Michelin was 43.
ichelin Man Edouard Michelin's great grand-father set up the company with his brother Andre in 1889 and their brainchild quickly became embedded in French culture.
In 1898, the company brought out the Michelin Man, a jovial, rotund figure made of tires who came to symbolize the company.
At the turn of the 20th century, Michelin then published its first Red Guide.
The guide encouraged people to use their cars to travel around France and gave advice on the best restaurants and hotels in the region, resulting in the coveted "Michelin Star" awards given out to dining establishments today.
Edouard Michelin entered into the prestigious family set-up in 1985, armed with an engineering degree from the Ecole Centrale de Paris.
He had a stint in France's navy from 1987 to 1988 before going back to the Michelin company where he held various posts in areas such as production and sales.
Edouard then succeeded his father Francois, who had run Michelin for more than 40 years, as head of the company in 1999.
Faced with growing competition from global rivals such as Bridgestone, Edouard Michelin decided to cut 7,500 jobs in 1999 and restructure the company's north American activities to improve the group's profitability.
The decision to cut the jobs led to an attack on Edouard Michelin by then French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, who called on workers and politicians to unite in protest at the move.
However, Edouard Michelin rode through the backlash, saying the job cuts were necessary to enable his family's company to compete with global rivals in Japan and the United States.
Edouard Michelin had presided over the company's annual shareholder meeting only two weeks ago. His warning that it would be hard for the company to achieve its financial targets for the year due to higher commodity prices sent Michelin shares sliding earlier this month.
Edouard Michelin leaves behind a wife and six children.
Note: Son of Francois Michelin and Managing Partner of Michelin Tire Company
Orcines Village Cemetery
Departement du Puy-de-Dôme
Plot: Famille Michelin
Created by: PattiEnter
Record added: Jul 12, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73216238