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A Tribute to Hubert Perrodo

Hubert Perrodo, the founder of Perenco, was born on 25 January, 1944, in Larmor Baden, a fishing village on the Gulf of Morbihan located on the southern tip of Brittany, in France.

He was the eldest of four children. His father was a fisherman and his mother a housewife. His ancestors on both sides were fishermen who, in order to earn a living, sailed those seas that had the reputation of being difficult. Perrodo learned very early on that to live you have to work, and to succeed you have to demonstrate courage and talent and take risks.

A bright student, he was not, however, made for academic study. As soon as he could, he chose the school of travel over university. At the age of 19, he joined the maritime company Delmas-Vieljeux as a cadet officer. For eighteen months, he cruised along the west coast of Africa. Called up for military service, he joined the navy and left for the Mediterranean before once more embarking for Gabon.

In 1967, following a stay in Quebec, his quest for adventure led him to explore the east coast of the United States, from Florida to New York, working one day as barman, another day as an actor or as a teacher of French or sailing. His American travels ended with a cruise on the yacht owned by the majority shareholder of Gulf Oil, Jack Walton, who socialised with his young French maître d?hôtel and showed him the advantages of the oil business. This meeting was to be decisive.

In 1969, back in France, Perrodo, strongly determined to succeed, followed the advice of the oil magnate. He went to Pau and applied for work at drilling company Forex, where he learned the trade on the job. The assignments he was sent on in Iraq, Gabon, and Indonesia allowed him to gain precious contacts and experience. In 1973, he joined Comex, an underwater operations specialist in the oil and natural gas industry, and was sent to Singapore as a logistics manager. There he saw an opportunity and in 1975 he acquired several small support boats that enabled him to set up his first company, Cosnav Ltd. With his new firm rapidly developing, he soon became a ship owner, supervising the construction of barges and tugs that he hired out to major oil companies.

Apart from a rich family life (he is the father of three) Perrodo's greatest passion was undoubtedly his job. He devoted over 30 years of his life to creating and managing companies, gathering around him a loyal, closely knit, responsive team, motivated by the desire to successfully meet new challenges. In 1981 he founded Techfor, an oil drilling company that he sold in 1992, before creating and developing Perenco.

Throughout his life, Perrodo's sense of risk and his need for physical exertion never diminished. The most striking evidence of this was his enthusiasm for polo. He fulfilled this passion by establishing his own team, which went on to win the most prestigious 'high goal' polo trophies. He also indulged his love for off-trail skiing and his participation in the Médoc, New York and London marathons.

On 29 December, 2006, one month before his 63rd birthday, Perrodo passed away while hiking as he was descending 'La Dent du Villard' mountain trail near Courchevel. For all those dear to him, this passionate man leaves behind a legacy of independence and achievement.

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