Christian Scherer has been appointed as Airbus chief commercial officer following the surprise and sudden departure of Eric Schulz.

Scherer, who has been chief executive of ATR since October 2016, will take up his new role with immediate effect, reporting to chief executive Tom Enders, says Airbus. It adds that Schulz – who only joined in January, from Rolls-Royce, as successor to the retiring John Leahy – has "decided to leave for personal reasons".

Enders states: "We regret Eric Schulz's decision. We wish him all the best for his future."

Scherer has spent most of his career with Airbus, where he started in 1984. His roles have included deputy head of sales, as well as head of strategy and future programmes. He also headed up marketing and sales at Airbus Defence & Space.

"With Christian Scherer we see one of our most customer-focused leaders at the commercial helm of Airbus," states Enders. "Over his various assignments I greatly valued his international mindset, his strategic vision, and tremendous commercial expertise."

Born in Duisburg in Germany, Scherer was raised in Toulouse, where his father Gunter was a key member of the engineering team during Airbus's early years. He holds an MBA from the University of Ottawa.

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