Both Take Fall For A380 Delays
The drama surrounding
the leadership of both Airbus and its parent company EADS came to a
head over the weekend, as EADS co-CEO Noel Forgeard (above right)
and Airbus chief Gustav Humbert -- both embroiled in scandal over
delays in the A380 project -- both quit.
"The recently announced delay on the A380 production and
delivery program has been a major disappointment for our customers,
our shareholders and our employees," said Mr. Humbert in a prepared
statement, reported by the BBC. "As president and chief executive
of Airbus, I must take responsibility for this setback and feel the
right course of action is to offer my resignation to our
As ANN reported last week,
Louis Gallois has been tapped to replace Forgeard. Frenchman
Christian Strieff will replace Humbert (below right) at the
controls of Airbus.
Both men will try to bring EADS and its subsidiary out of a
financial nosedive that started when Airbus announced the second
major delay in deliveries of the superjumbo jet -- this one blamed
on wiring issues.
Forgeard and other EADS
executives are under investigation for dumping their company stock
back in March, 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. A lot of investors have ridden
the wreckage all the way down, though, as shares in EADS are
off 25-percent from what they were just four months ago.
"This is a strong decisive move which is bound to reinspire
confidence," said Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia to
Bloomberg. "They need to regain the confidence of investors and
customers. It's going to be a difficult road but this is a good
There's still a plane to redesign -- again -- the A350.
And there's still shaken investors and rattled customers to
Interstingly... talk of restructuring the management structure
of EADS appears to have fallen by the wayside in all the brouhaha.
In company dispatches Sunday, there was no mention of doing away
with the current co-chairmanship... where a Frenchman and a German
control the company.
Instead... the names have changed... but the structure remains