Airbus has announced major changes to its executive team at the top of the organisation.
In a statement the company said: “The Board of Directors of Airbus has decided on a series of Executive changes that ensure an orderly succession in the Executive leadership of Airbus.
“Tom Enders has advised the Board that he does not wish to seek another term as Chief Executive Officer beyond his current mandate which runs until the 2019 Annual Shareholders Meeting (April 2019).”
Tom Enders said: “The privilege of serving this great company comes with a responsibility to support a smooth succession when the time is ripe. In 2019, I will have served all together 14 years at the helm of Airbus and EADS. It’s been a long and exciting journey but now is the time to initiate a leadership change. We need fresh minds for the 2020s. In the coming 16 months, I will work with the Board to ensure a smooth transition to the next CEO and a new generation of leaders; I will focus on our business challenges; and I will further progress and strengthen our ethics and compliance programmes.”
Fabrice Brégier, Airbus chief operating officer and president Airbus Commercial Aircraft has indicated to the Board that, as he does not intend to be part of the selection process for the CEO position in 2019, he will step down in February 2018 and pursue other interests.
He commented: “After 25 years with the company including five years as MBDA CEO, four years as CEO of Eurocopter and eleven years as COO, CEO or President of Airbus commercial aircraft, I feel the time is right to pursue other opportunities outside. I have been fully dedicated to Airbus and to its success during all these years, and up to my departure next year I will remain focused on meeting Airbus’ commitments to all stakeholders and on ensuring a smooth handover to my successor.”
Commenting Brégier’s decision to step down Enders added: “I understand Fabrice’s decision and his motives and, frankly, I would not have done differently. Many of the achievements this company can be proud of over the past decade were led by Fabrice and me, together. Airbus is deeply grateful for his outstanding contribution to the operational excellence and competitiveness of our business.”
Guillaume Faury, currently CEO of Airbus Helicopters, will succeed Fabrice in his role as President Airbus Commercial Aircraft.
“I am honoured to have been entrusted with this new challenge, and I look forward to leading the inspiring commercial aircraft business of Airbus,” said Faury.
Enders commented: “Guillaume represents our next generation of leaders and has demonstrated broad business and industry experience, an international mindset and a clear focus on delivering value during his tenure at the helm of our helicopter business. I look forward to working with him in his new role. Guillaume’s succession at Airbus Helicopters will be decided and announced in the coming weeks.”
During 2018 Airbus’ Board of Directors will assess both internal and external executives for the CEO role with a view to announcing Tom Enders’ successor in time for confirmation at the 2019 AGM.
“The Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring orderly succession planning and the continuous development of the executive pipeline. We are confident we have taken the right decisions to ensure Airbus’ long term stability and future success and we fully support Tom Enders to lead Airbus through this generational handover with our full support,” said Denis Ranque, Chairman of the Board of Airbus.
“I am very grateful to Fabrice Brégier for his dedication to the company during all these years and for his contribution to the success of Airbus, with its integration, its remarkable international development and the successful launch of new programmes such as the A350, the A320neo and the A330neo. We understand his desire to use this opportunity of change at the top of the company to pursue new opportunities after 25 years,” said Ranque.
In 2016 the Airbus group generated revenues of €67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000.
Pictures courtesy of Airbus