Airbus CEO calls it quits, refuses to continue beyond April 2019
December 15, 2017: The Board of Directors of Airbus SE has embarked on a series of changes to ensure a smooth succession for its top leadership position.
The decision comes in the wake of Tom Enders's intimation to the Board that he does not wish to seek another term as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) beyond his current mandate, which runs till April 2019.
'The privilege of serving this great company comes with a responsibility to support a smooth succession when the time is ripe. In 2019, I will complete 14 years of stint at the helm of Airbus and EADS. It's been a long and exciting journey, but now is the time to initiate a leadership change. We need fresh minds for 2020. In the ensuing 16 months, I will work with the Board to ensure a smooth transition for the next CEO, and a new generation of leaders. I shall focus on our business challenges, and further strengthen our ethics and compliance programmes,' said Enders .
Interestingly, Fabrice Brgier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer (COO) & President Airbus Commercial Aircraft has also indicated to the Board that, as he does not intend to be part of the selection process for the CEO position in 2019, he would step down in February 2018 to pursue other interests.
'After a stint of 25 years with the company including five years as MBDA CEO, four years as CEO of Eurocopter and eleven years as COO, CEO or President of Airbus commercial aircraft, I feel the time is right to pursue other opportunities outside. I have been fully dedicated to Airbus and to its success during all these years, and subsequent to my departure next year, I shall remain focused on meeting Airbus' commitments to all stakeholders and ensure a smooth handover to my successor,' said Brgier.
'I understand Fabrice's decision and his motives and, frankly, I would not have done differently,' said Enders.
'Several achievements of this company over the past decade were led by Fabrice and me. Airbus is deeply grateful for his outstanding contribution to the operational excellence and competitiveness of our business,' said Enders.
Guillaume Faury who is currently the CEO of Airbus Helicopters is expected to succeed Fabrice in his role as President Airbus Commercial Aircraft.
'I am honoured to have been entrusted with this new challenge, and I look forward to leading the inspiring commercial aircraft business of Airbus,' said Faury.
'Guillaume represents our next generation of leaders and has demonstrated broad business and industry experience, an international mindset and a clear focus on delivering value during his tenure at the helm of our helicopter business. I look forward to working with him in his new role,' Enders said.
'Guillaume's succession at Airbus Helicopters will be decided and announced in the coming weeks,' he said.
According to reports, the Board of Directors will assess both internal and external executives for the CEO role in 2018 with a view to announcing Tom Enders' successor in good time for confirmation at the 2019 AGM.
'The Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring orderly succession planning and the continuous development of the executive pipeline. We are confident we have taken the right decisions to ensure Airbus' long term stability and future success and we fully support Tom Enders to lead Airbus through this generational handover with our full support,' said Denis Ranque, Chairman of the Board of Airbus.
'I am grateful to Brgier for his dedication to the company during all these years and for his contribution to the success of Airbus, with its integration, its remarkable international development and the successful launch of new programmes such as the A350, the A320neo and the A330neo. We understand his desire to use this opportunity of change at the top of the company to pursue new opportunities after 25 years,' said Ranque.