Potier graduated with a degree in engineering in 1979 and joined Air Liquide in 1981. He has remained with the company since then in a variety of roles and positions, and was eventually appointed as CEO and Chairman. He is likely to be succeeded in May 2022.
Potier graduated from École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, Paris, in 1979 with an engineering degree. He then attended the executive training program at Wharton International Forum as well as the INSEAD Advanced Management program.
Potier first joined Air Liquide in 1981 as an engineer who was working in the Research and Development Division. He was soon promoted and over the years he held many different positions within the group, working in both strategy and operations. After serving as a Project Manager in the Engineering and Construction Division, he was promoted to Vice-President of Energy Development within the Large Industries operations of the company.
In 1993 he became Director of Strategy and Organization and in 1994 became head of the Chemicals, Metal and Steel, and Oil and Energy Markets. In 1995 he was promoted to Executive Vice-President of Air Liquide. This would come with additional responsibilities over the Engineering and Construction Divisions as well as the Large Industries operations in Europe.
In 1997, Benoît Potier was appointed to the position of Senior Executive Vice-President and In 2000 he was appointed to the Board of Directors where he became Chairman of the Management Board in November 2001. In May 2006, Potier was made Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the entire Air Liquide Group, a position he holds to this day. He is expected to be replaced as CEO by François Jackow at the next General Meeting of shareholders scheduled in May 2022.
Along with this, Potier is chairman of the Air Liquide Foundation, and outside of Air Liquide he is also vice-chairman of the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT).
Potier was awarded the Knight of the French Legion of Honour, “Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur” with the distinction of Officer of the Order of Merit, “Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite” in 2006.