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Airbus appoints new CEO amid several executive exits

October 10, 2018

Guillaume Faury, who currently serves as president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, will succeed Tom Enders

Airbus appointed Guillaume Faury to succeed Tom Enders as chief executive amid ongoing investigations by fraud agencies in the United Kingdom and France into the allegedly corrupt use of middlemen to secure sales and a months-long leadership shake-up at the world's second largest aircraft manufacturer.

Mr Faury, 50, who was brought in as president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft eight months ago, will succeed Mr Enders, 59, at the company’s annual shareholders meeting on April 10, 2019, when the appointment of Mr Faury will be submitted to shareholders. Succession was set in motion last December when Mr Enders announced he did not intend to seek re-election at Airbus and would be replaced when his term ends.

The appointment comes after multiple executive exits at Airbus. Fabrice Bregier, a decade-long veteran of its executive committee, left the company in February. Harald Wilhelm, the chief financial officer, will depart next year and chief salesman Eric Schulz, who joined from engine maker Rolls-Royce, left last month after just nine months in the post.

The 10 month-long search among internal and external candidates for a new chief executive ended in the appointment of an Airbus executive who has made a name for himself by boosting the company’s productivity in aircraft deliveries.

With his strong values and international mindset, Guillaume stands for the new generation of leaders that Airbus needs for the coming decade,” said Mr Enders.

Mr Faury has worked in the aviation industry for 20 years, in various senior management roles at Eurocopter (now an Airbus company) from 1998 to 2008. Starting in engineering at the helicopter maker, then flight testing, he later became executive vice president for commercial programmes, then executive vice president for research and development.

In 2009, Mr Faury joined French car maker Peugeot, where he was executive vice president for research and development. In May 2013, he returned to Airbus as chief executive of Airbus Helicopters and in early 2018 he took the helm of Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

The company did not announce a replacement for Mr Faury as head of commercial aircraft but it is expected to combine the role with that of chief executive, according to the Financial Times.

Despite the corruption investigations and leadership uncertainty, shares in Airbus have been on a steady rise over the past 12 months, at €80 (Dh337) a share this time last year to a record high of €104 when the markets closed last Friday.

thenational