Thu, Nov 02, 2006
Names Two Officials To Key Posts
Members of the board at European
Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) have taken addition
steps to tighten their control of Airbus, by naming two key company
officials to positions at the troubled planemaker.
The Associated Press reports that effective immediately, current
Eurocopter chief Fabrice Bregier will take over as chief operating
officer of Airbus. EADS CFO Hans Peter Ring will take over as Chief
Financial Officer at Airbus, replacing Andreas Sperl. Sperl --
who's been Airbus CFO since 2000 -- will move to another
unspecified position within the group.
The continuing leadership shakeups at Airbus result from delays
with its A380 and A350 programs. The A380 program is now over two
years behind its original schedule -- and the redesign of the
medium-range A350XWB (shown below) has yet to be
finalized. Those schedule delays and the resulting costs to the
company are driving a drastic restructuring effort.
This leadership change is the second such move by EADS in the
past month. As Aero-News reported, EADS
co-Chief Executive Officer Louis Gallois recently replaced
Christian Streiff as CEO at Airbus, following Streiff's resignation
amid restructuring squabbles. Gallois is the third CEO at Airbus in
the past 18 months.
Industry observers say EADS' tightening grip on Airbus
leadership is an indication of how unaware it was of Airbus'
problems, before news of delays to the A380 came to light.
And it doesn't stop there. The EADS board has also demanded
co-CEOs Gallois and Thomas Enders report regularly on all major
projects and matters of importance -- including Airbus -- to
chairmen Manfred Bischoff and Arnaud Lagardere.
Interestingly, the new management structure at Airbus is
distinctly French -- a step away from the traditional Franco-German
shared ruling structure of the European consortium. Thomas Enders,
meanwhile, has been left with more or less direct control of
defense and helicopter operations at EADS.
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