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Wed, Apr 11, 2007

Shareholder Documents Describe Forgeard's Benefits Package From EADS

$11 Million Severance Package Awarded Following 2006 Resignation

His time as co-CEO of EADS was marked by the development of -- and subsequent turmoil surrounding -- the Airbus A380 superjumbo. His resignation from the European consortium last year was darkened by accusations of a stock payout scandal.

But, as they say, every corporate cloud has a silver lining (or golden parachute)... and Noel Forgeard certainly cashed out from his time with EADS.

Reuters reports documents prepared for a shareholders meeting of Airbus parent company EADS detail the benefits Forgeard arranged, ahead of his July 2006 ousting from the beleaguered company.

Forgeard was entitled to a six-month notice payment of approximately $1.6 million at current exchange rates, the papers show... as well as a $6.5 million termination package, representing two-years pay. Forgeard will also receive roughly $135,000 per month throughout a two-year non-compete agreement with EADS.

Those big numbers -- at a time when EADS and Airbus are hemorrhaging Euros, and preparing to cut some 10,000 jobs throughout Europe -- raised the ire of lawmakers in France, including French Communist presidential candidate Marie-George Buffet.

"Airbus invents the premium for a bad boss," said Buffet. "While 10,000 job cuts are planned as part of the Power8 (restructuring plan), without counting the inevitable job consequences among suppliers, one of those mainly responsible for the industrial disaster will get a real fortune."

Buffet cited the payments as further proof the state should intervene in Airbus' restructuring efforts, and that the Power8 reorganization plan now underway should be scrapped.

As Aero-News reported, Forgeard and Airbus CEO Gustav Humbert resigned from EADS in early July of 2006. Forgeard and other EADS executives are still under investigation for dumping their company stock back in March 2006, two months before public talk of a second delay in the A380 program surfaced.

Although formal charges of insider trading have not been established, both the German and French governments are looking into the fact that the executives got out at just the right time... and made money. Or, in Forgeard's case... made even more.

FMI: www.eads.com, www.airbus.com

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