Jacques Saade, the Lebanese immigrant who founded French shipbuilding firm CMA CGM and oversaw its rise to become a leading player in its global sector, died on June 24, the company said on Monday.
Saade, who was 81, set up the group after leaving Lebanon following the civil war in that country, starting off with four employees, a single ship and only one maritime service between Marseilles and Beirut.
CMA CGM, which is the world's third-largest container shipping group, had already said last year that Rodolphe Saade would succeed his father as its new chief executive.
In a statement, the shipping firm said, 'Jacques R. Saadé dedicated his life to CMA CGM. An extraordinary visionary and entrepreneur, he made the Group into a world leader in the maritime transport of containers, developing the company in more than 160 countries, while maintaining the family dimension with its values.'
CMA CGM reported in March a $701 million net profit for last year, confirming its turnaround after a shipping downturn in 2016 when it suffered a $452 million loss.