Frenchman to take top Eurotunnel job

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THE FRENCH president of a Swiss employment agency, Georges-Christian Chazot, is set to succeed Sir Alastair Morton as chief executive of Eurotunnel, the Channel tunnel operator.

His appointment is likely to be announced later this week, though yesterday Eurotunnel refused to confirm or deny that it was about to recruit Mr Chazot.

Mr Chazot, aged 54, has been president of the employment agency Adia for the past 18 months. Before that he was president of Alcatel Business Systems, part of the French telecommunications equipment group.

As disclosed by the Independent on Sunday, Sir Alastair will revert to being one of Eurotunnel's two co- chairman along with Andre Benard when Mr Chazot takes up the post.

He is expected to arrive by the beginning of next month in time to oversee the start of freight shuttle services through the tunnel in early March. Eurotunnel's Le Shuttle car passenger service, fares for which will be announced today, enters service on 7 May.

Mr Chazot is a graduate of the elite Ecole Polytechnique and holds a master's degree in electrical engineering and a diploma from the Harvard international marketing institute.

His appointment will temporarily tilt the balance of the Eurotunnel board in France's favour. It is now made up of seven Britons, seven Frenchmen, a Belgian and an American. France already owns close to 60 per cent of the shares.