By Geert De Clercq and Benjamin Mallet
PARIS (Reuters) - Henri Proglio, chief executive of French state-controlled utility EDF
Referring to two 100-year bonds EDF has recently issued, Proglio indicated he was ready to stay at the helm for a long time. "We have issued a 100-year loan and I obviously have a strong ambition to be there to repay the last cent," he said.
Proglio, whose term ends on November 22, is seen by many as too close to conservative former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to win a reappointment from his socialist successor Francois Hollande. But a landmark nuclear deal in the UK and an 84 percent rise in EDF shares over the past year have boosted his position.
The French state owns 84.4 percent of EDF.
"I have never put myself forward as a candidate ... it will be up to the shareholder to decide," Proglio told reporters on the sidelines of EDF's 2013 earnings conference.
"My responsibility is to bring this ship as far as possible and get it ready for the big wide ocean ... it would be a bit sad for this company if I limited my ambition or my action to the end of November."
Proglio, who will turn 65 in June, came to EDF from Veolia Environnement
EDF has an age limit of 68 for its CEO, so a renewal of Proglio's mandate would mean either he accepts a shortened tenure or the government agrees to increase the age limit.
On Wednesday, French oil major Total
(Editing by David Holmes)