Yves Galland, a former French minister, has been appointed president of Boeing France to help the US manufacturer win business in the country. He has been tasked with ensuring that French industry is more involved in Boeing programmes.
Tom Pickering, vice-president in charge of international relations for Boeing, says the appointment is a signal that the US aircraft manufacturer is not influenced by the strained relations between France and the USA. "We decided a year ago that a French person was needed to represent Boeing at the highest level in government and industry," Pickering says, adding that "we are a private company and it's up to us to decide what we want to do commercially and industrially".
Galland, French industry minister in 1995 and finance and foreign trade minister from 1995 to 1997, denies that his political party may not greet his appointment with much enthusiasm, given that as foreign trade minister he had been pushing sales for Boeing's arch rival, Airbus, and he rejects the notion that his position is that of a lobbyist.
Source: Flight International