Jean-Claude Decaux, founder outdoor advertising company JCDecaux, has died at the age of 78.
Decaux stepped down as chief executive of the company in 2000, handing the reigns to his two sons. He served as honorary chairman of the board since May 2013.
His death was confirmed on Friday by the JCDecaux Group. No further details have been given at this time.
He is credited with pioneering the development of “street furniture”, having convinced local governments in the 1960s that public spaces, such as bus shelters, could be financed by advertising.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy posted a message to Facebook in response to his death, calling him an “outstanding inventor” whose “work is an inspiration and courage to all young entrepreneurs” in France.
The Drum’s editor Stephen Lepitak also praised the contribution of Decaux to the advertising industry, saying “it cannot be underestimated”.
“He built an incredible legacy with JCDecaux which continues to dominate the outdoor market today and his passing comes at a time when the sector is once again thriving. Those who work in advertising owe a great deal to a man who was a pioneer in outdoor - a sector that will only continue to flourish in this digital age. The Drum's condolences go out to his family and friends.”
Colleagues at JCDecaux have also taken to social media to express their sadness at his passing.