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Edouard Michelin dies in boating accident

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Groupe Michelin's Edouard Michelin was killed earlier today in a fishing boat accident off the French coast.

In an official statement, the company said the following:

"Michelin has just learned the tragic news of the accidental death of Mr. Edouard Michelin, the company's co-managing partner. It is an immense sadness for his family as well as for all of our 130,000 Michelin employees throughout the world.

"In accordance with Michelin's established governance policies, Michel Rollier, our current co-managing partner, will ensure the continuity of the group's management."

Michelin, 42, earned an engineering degree from Ecole Centrale de Paris after spending six months attending high school in the United States. He joined Michelin in 1985 and held various posts in the fields of research, production and sales. As CEO of Michelin North America Inc., he was in charge of both industrial plant and truck sales and distribution.

Co-opted as a managing partner in 1991, he joined his father, Francois Michelin, and Rene Zingraff at the company's headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, France, in 1993. He was appointed Michelin's new head at the Annual Shareholders Meeting on June 11, 1999.

Following the retirement of Zingraff earlier this month, Michelin and Rollier co-managed the company. The Groupe's Executive Council works alongside the managing partners; it is made up of 10 top managers directly responsible for a product line, the Technology Center, a group service or a geographical zone.

The heads of all the Groupe's entities form its 31-member College of Directors.

Michelin is survived by his wife and six children.

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