Embattled EADS Sacks CEOs, Shuffles Top-Level Reporting
After recent turmoil within EADS, the penny now dropped, and the company’s Board of Directors has announced the resignation of French co-CEO Noel Forgeard as EADS CEO, as a member of the EADS Board, and as Chairman of the Airbus Shareholder Committee. It also announced the resignation of Airbus’ German CEO Gustav Humbert as CEO and as a member of the EADS Executive Committee, effective immediately. These announcements come in the wake of trouble with the A380 super-jumbo program that led to a 25% plunge in EADS share price, and controversy over Foregard’s sale of EADS stock a month before the devastating announcement. EADS and Airbus have been mired in legal and political trouble ever since.
The Board has appointed Louis Gallois as co-CEO with Enders, who already held the position. The 47 year-old Enders was also nominated as Chairman of the Airbus Shareholder Committee, subject to their confirmation. EADS has also made corresponding changes to its top-level reporting assignments.
Tom Enders is a former Bundeswehr airborne officer, and held high ranking positions with DASA (now a part of EADS) before becoming head of EADS Defence and Security Systems Division in 2000. He was appointed as co-CEO of EADS in June 2005.
Gallois was President of the French railway company SNCF, and has been a member of EADS Board of Directors since 2000. Gallois was Chairman and CEO of the French aero engine manufacturer SNECMA (now Safran) from 1989-1992. He then served as CEO of the French aerospace form Aerospatiale, an EADS predecessor company, from 1992-1996.
In a joint announcement, Enders and Gallois said:
“Our immediate priority is Airbus. We need to stabilize the A380 and we need to move ahead with our product strategy, our resources, our processes and the industrial set up. Christian Streiff, our new Airbus CEO, will drive this agenda, with our full corporate support and attention.”
The corporate release added that further changes in the way of managing Airbus and EADS were under review and will be decided as soon as possible; what is clear is that the Board resolved to “closely integrate the Airbus Division into the organizational structure of EADS” after finalizing of the buyout of BAE Systems’ 20% stake in Airbus.
Before his Airbus appointment, Streiff was Deputy CEO of Saint-Gobain, a diversified multinational company. Before becoming Deputy CEO of the Saint-Gobain Group in 2004, Streiff has managed various industry and technology businesses of the Group in France, Germany, Italy and the US. Streiff will report to Enders, and he has also been appointed as member of the EADS Executive Committee.
New responsibilities and reporting lines at the top management level include…
Reporting to Tom Enders:
- Christian Streiff (CEO of Airbus)
- Jean-Paul Gut (EADS COO for Marketing, Strategy and Global Development)
- Ralph Crosby (Chairman and CEO of EADS North America)
- Francisco Fernandez Sainz (Head of Military Transport Aircraft Divison – mostly the A400M)
Reporting to Louis Gallois:
- Hans Peter Ring (EADS CFO)
- Francois Auque (Head of Space Division)
- Fabrice Bregier (Head of Eurocopter Division)
- Stefan Zoller (Head of Defence and Security Systems Division)
Reporting to both CEOs:
- Jean Botti (Chief Technical Officer)
- Jussi Itavuori (Head of Human Resources)