European aerospace giant Airbus has confirmed that insider Guillaume Faury will be its new chief executive when incumbent Tom Enders leaves next year in what is being portrayed as a generational change.
Faury, 50, is currently president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and there has been speculation for some weeks that he would succeed German-born Enders.
His appointment comes after a series of management departures, including the surprise resignation of Airbus sales chief Eric Schulz in August, amid reports of tensions within the company.
He faces a number of issues including regulatory investigations, industrial problems due to engine issues on its best-selling A320neo and the fallout from Brexit.
Bloomberg also reported Monday that talks had stalled over a deal with Emirates to ensure the continued production of the A380 superjumbo through a $US16 billion order for new planes.
Enders, 59, remains chief executive until a hand-over at the company’s annual meeting on April 10, 2019, and said he would facilitate a smooth transition.
“Guillaume is an excellent choice,’’ he said in the company’s official announcement.
“He has gained broad industrial and aeronautic experience over many years and in many roles both inside and outside Airbus.
“With his strong values and international mindset, Guillaume stands for the new generation of leaders that Airbus needs for the coming decade.”
Chairman Denis Ranque, who will leave the board in 2020, said the company had diligently prepared for the succession.
He said it had reached a unanimous conclusion after a thorough examination of all potential internal and external candidates.
“We are delighted to be appointing someone of Guillaume’s caliber to take the helm,’’ he said.
“His global outlook, extensive operational experience, strong personal values and straightforward leadership style make him the ideal candidate to rally Airbus teams in the delivery of value to customers, partners and shareholders going forward.”
Faury served in various senior management roles at Eurocopter between 1998 and 2008, eventually becoming executive vice president for commercial programs and then executive vice president for research and development.
He left the aerospace company to run research and development at Peugeot before returning to Airbus in 2013 as chief executive of Airbus Helicopters.
He took the top job in at Airbus Commercial Aircraft in early 2018 after the departure of Fabrice Bergier.
Ranque also paid tribute to Enders, saying he had served Airbus with passion for almost two decades.
“The company’s strategic, structural and governance transformations brought about under Tom’s leadership, stand Airbus in good stead to pursue its performance trajectory and continue to deliver on commitments to our shareholders and the wider financial community in future years,” he said.
The European manufacturer in 2017 generated revenues of €59 billion and employed a workforce of about 129,000.