French billionaire industrialist Serge Dassault, who was also a conservative politician, died in Paris on Monday, a spokesman for Dassault Group said.
The Dassault group, which his father had created, controls Dassault Aviation national newspaper Le Figaro as well as holding major stakes in Dassault Systemes and Thales and smaller stakes in several other listed French businesses.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute to him: “France has lost a great industrialist, and I a friend,” the BBC reported.
French president Emmanuel Macron said about the death, “In Serge Dassault, France lost a man who devoted his life to developing a flagship of French industry,” according to the Financial Times.
The Dassault group is best known abroad for its Rafale warplanes.
“It’s first and foremost a great industrialist who is gone,” said Manuel Valls, former prime minister, in a statement told Bloomberg. “He profoundly modernized the Dassault company.”
Dassault, who had passed on leadership of his group a few years ago, died in his Paris office.
In a short statement, the Dassault family said that the 93-year-old “died at his office on the Champs Élysées, following a heart attack,” CNN reported.
“We won’t see any more big bosses like him: determined, very endearing, a little cunning, patriotic,” Laurence Parisot, who is the former head of business lobby Medef, said, Bloomberg News reported. “He not only made his father’s work prosperous but opened his group to modernity.”
“I Was a Communist Slave”
A story of tragedy, faith, and resistance in the face of brutal totalitarianism, Memoir of a Communist Slave is one man’s journey to uncover what he believes has held him and his people hostage for too long.