EADS new CEOs hint at further restructuring after Forgeard, Humbert departures

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By Murdo Morrison in London

EADS’s chief executives have hinted that further management changes at EADS and Airbus are on the cards, following the resignation of Noël Forgeard and Airbus chief executive (CEO) Gustav Humbert over the A380 debacle.

Tom Enders and his new co-chief executive, Louis Gallois – who replaced Forgeard yesterday – say in a statement issued today that they will “work jointly to bring EADS back on course”.

In a contrite tone, the pair say they are “refocusing the company on its operation business”, adding that: “Due to the management difficulties of recent weeks and the A380 crisis, EADS’s reputation is at stake. We’ll have to regain the trust of our customers, investors and – not least – our employees in the management, strategy and products of EADS.”

Their first priority is Airbus, they say: “We need to stablise the A380 and we need to move ahead with our product strategy, our resources, our processes and the industrial set up.”

Enders and Gallois – a former head of Snecma and Aérospatiale – also defend the appointment of aerospace outsider Christian Streiff as Airbus chief executive and suggest that solving the Franco-German dispute which has contributed to problems at Airbus and EADS will be a priority. “The recent crisis has shown that EADS has to overcome national boundaries if the group’s future success shall not be endangered,” says the statement, which adds: “The principle ‘the best man for the job’ has led us to the appointment of Christian Steiff as new Airbus CEO. We will make sure that performance and leadership are the decisive principles for all management levels within EADS.”

The statement also says that: “Further changes in the way of managing Airbus and EADS are under review and will be decided as soon as possible.”

Blog:
Read Flight International editor Murdo Morrison on how EADS missed its golden opportunity to have a single chief executive