Safran propulsion head selected to succeed chief Petitcolin

French aerospace firm Safran has named its propulsion division head, Olivier Andries, as its next chief executive from 2021.

Andries will take over from Philippe Petitcolin after a one-year transition period which is set to commence on 1 January.

He is currently the chief of Safran's aircraft engines operation, which is a partner in the CFM International venture, with General Electric, that produces the CFM56 and Leap family of engines.

Andries' pending accession to the post has been confirmed by the company's board of directors, following a selection process which included both internal and external candidates.

Petitcolin's term had previously been extended to the end of 2020.

Andries formerly worked for the French government within the ministry of industry and the ministry of finance, before joining the Lagardere group and subsequently Airbus in a senior strategic post.

He was involved in discussions to open a Chinese Airbus production line at Tianjin, and played a central role in the preparations to launch the Airbus A350 XWB – including talks over a possible General Electric powerplant for the twinjet.

Andries became head of strategy for Airbus's then-parent EADS before joining Safran in 2008, holding positions in strategy and defence before moving to head the helicopter engines operation and then the company's overall propulsion division.