Philippe Bourguignon, a veteran of French corporate rescues, is set to become the next chairman of Eurotunnel.
Mr Bourguignon has been lined up to take over from the current Eurotunnel chairman Charles Mackay in the autumn and will play an important role in the financial restructuring of the ailing operator of the Channel Tunnel.
The news of his expected appointment to the £190,000-a-year post came as Eurotunnel prepared to defend itself against an attempt by rebel shareholders to unseat the entire board at the annual meeting next month.
Mr Bourguignon announced his resignation yesterday as co-chief executive of the World Economic Forum, the annual get-together of political and business leaders in Davos. It has already been announced that he will stand for election to the Eurotunnel board at next month's meeting, replacing Michael Coombes, the chief financial officer of France Telecom.
Mr Bourguignon, 56, was the chief executive of Disneyland Paris at the time of its financial rescue in the late 1990s. He was also the chief executive of the tour operator Club Méditerranée and has held senior positions with the French hotels and the catering giant Accor.
One Eurotunnel source said: "His experience in corporate restructuring and his background in the leisure industry make him a obvious candidate to take over from Charles and the autumn would seem a natural time for the handover."