Roger Fauroux, former CEO of the Saint-Gobain group and Minister of Industry under François Mitterrand, died Friday evening July 16 at the age of 94, one of his sons announced on Saturday as well as the Saint- group. Gobain.

Grand captain of industry of France in the Trente Glorieuses, Roger Fauroux was a humanist with a rich curriculum vitae. “He was not only a man turned towards business, but also a lover of letters”, underlined his son, Nicolas Fauroux.

This convinced Christian, who worked tirelessly in search of consensus, was also an expert in major societal causes such as education, integration and housing. A vocation, he said, linked as much to his passion for “The service of the general interest” to an incurable “Curiosity” inherited from childhood.

Born on November 21, 1926 in Montpellier (Hérault), normalien, graduate in theology, German aggregate (received first) and enarque, Roger Fauroux had joined in the early 1960s one of the jewels of French industry, the Pont-à-Mousson metallurgical plant.

He climbed all the levels, until in 1980 taking the presidency of the group that became Saint-Gobain (production, distribution of materials). He will keep his post after the nationalization of the company, in 1982, by the socialist government, and will be, much later, honorary president.

Read his interview from 2008: “For the first time, state reform seems to have become a priority”

In 1986, Roger Fauroux became the first industrialist to lead the National School of Administration, of which he worked to reform the statute. Then, after having chaired editions du Cerf, he was appointed Minister of Industry and Regional Planning in the two Rocard governments (1988-1991). From 1997 to 2001, succeeding Simone Veil, Roger Fauroux chaired the High Council for Integration, the body founded by Michel Rocard in 1990 after the first cases of veil worn at school.

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Roger Fauroux then devoted his time to his mandates as a company director as well as to the drafting of various reports, in particular on the school and the fight against ethnic discrimination in the field of employment. In 1999, he was entrusted with an interministerial mission on the Balkans.

Co-founder of the Saint-Simon Foundation

Passionate about foreign languages, he chaired the Catholic Institute for several years, and was one of the co-founders, with François Furet among others, of the Saint-Simon Foundation. This think tank (1982-1999) which brought together academics and business leaders was during its years of existence a reference within the political and intellectual worlds.

“Like Saint-Simon, I believe in progress, in human action and reason, in education and morals, in the spirit of enterprise and in the State. I believe in the market, but not in its miracles. In short, I believe in the men’s industry ”, declared Roger Fauroux to the World in 1990.

In 2001, he published Our state, with Bernard Spitz, an essay on the reform of the French state, which had achieved great success. Roger Fauroux had reoffended in 2004 with Emergency state, always with Bernard Spitz. Under their leadership, several experts then carried out a diagnosis of the State in France and proposed a set of reforms.

Read our archives: Do or last in politics ?, by Roger Fauroux and Bernard Spitz

In 1981, this father of six children returned to family land by buying a farm in Ariège, near Saint-Girons, a town of which he was the various left mayor from 1989 to 1995.

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Roger Fauroux, elevated to the dignity of Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor in 2016, had retired from public affairs for several years already. His wife, Marie, historian, who died in April, was the sister of the great historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie.

The World with AFP

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