Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive officer (CEO) of French oil giant Total, died in a plane accident in Moscow on Tuesday, an official said.
De Margerie and three crew members were killed when the plane they were on collided with a snow-clearing machine at Moscow's Vnukovo International Airport, Xinhua quoted an airport spokeswoman as saying.
"A plane crashed when it collided with a snow-clearing machine. Three crew members and a passenger died. I can confirm that the passenger was Total's head de Margerie," said spokeswoman Elena Krylova.
The collision occurred during the takeoff of the Dassault Falcon business jet bound for Paris with de Margerie on board on Monday midnight Moscow time, according to the airport.
Total has also confirmed the death of its CEO in the plane crash in a statement, but said the accident had left a total of five people dead.
As one of the most recognisable figures among the world's top oil executives, de Margerie, 63, was on a list of attendees at a Russian government meeting on foreign investment in Gorki near Moscow Monday.
Total is the fourth largest by market value of the western world's top oil companies behind Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, and also one of the top foreign investors in Russia, which accounted for about 9 percent of Total's oil and gas output in 2013.