The Airbus Shareholder Committee, chaired by Noël Forgeard, approved the new Airbus Executive Committee members. The team, led by Gustav Humbert, who was appointed Airbus President and CEO in June, will have to ensure the continuing success of Airbus in the years to come. The following EC members have been approved by the EADS Board of Directors and BAE Systems.
Charles Champion (50) is appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) while retaining his role as Head of the A380 Programme. As such, Mr Champion becomes Airbus' "number two" and Deputy to the CEO, while continuing to head the programme which is the most decisive for Airbus' future.
John Leahy (55) is appointed COO - Customers. In this role he continues to be in charge of all commercial activities, including sales, marketing, contracts, business transactions control, asset management, and leasing business development. He is also in charge of Airbus North America, Airbus China, Airbus Japan and Airbus Russia, as well as the regional sales offices.
Andreas Sperl (58) remains Chief Financial Officer, and Erik Pillet (48) continues as Executive Vice President Human Resources.
Tom Williams (53), previously Executive Vice President Procurement is appointed Executive Vice President Programmes (both civil and military), and as such is now in charge of ensuring their profitability, of leading the development of new products, as well as ensuring proper delivery and support to customers and operators. Juan Carlos Martinez Saiz (44), formerly Senior Vice President, Head of Development A400M Programme, becomes Executive Vice President Military Programmes, reporting to Mr Williams. Mr Martinez Saiz will be in charge of the A400M as well as all Airbus military derivative aircraft.
Karl-Heinz Hartmann (54) is appointed Executive Vice President Operations, overseeing engineering, manufacturing, and IT activities. He replaces Gérard Blanc who, after 38 years in the aviation industry, has decided to leave the company. Mr Hartmann was until now Executive Vice President, Head of Airbus' Centres of Excellence. In this position, he is replaced by Alain Flourens (48), who, so far, was Senior Vice President Centre of Excellence nose and centre fuselage.
Procurement is now under the responsibility of Henri Courpron (42) who so far was President of Airbus North America. As Executive Vice President Procurement, Mr Courpron is in charge of all procurement activities across the entire Airbus organisation, of managing all supplier relations, and ensuring timely delivery of all purchased goods on cost and with the proper quality.
Also appointed to the Executive Committee is Olivier Andriès (43) who becomes Executive Vice President Strategy and Cooperation. Mr Andriès was Senior Vice President, Head of the A330/A340/A350 Programmes.
"This management team brings together the best expertise from across the entire Airbus organisation, with some new members who have a long knowledge of Airbus and the market place. We are also retaining the well proven and brilliant competences of experienced executives such as John Leahy, who under the leadership of Noël Forgard, brought us to the commercial position we now enjoy", said Gustav Humbert on the occasion of these appointments. "We shall jointly, and together with the commitment of our 53,000 Airbus colleagues, have the best team to face the challenges that lie ahead to the satisfaction of our customers and our shareholders."
On this occasion, Mr Forgeard and Mr Humbert also wished to pay a special tribute to Gérard Blanc for his remarkable career in the civil aviation industry, always devoted directly or indirectly to Airbus. Having started his career with Aerospatiale in 1967, he soon moved on to the international scene to represent his company's interests in Latin America. When joining Airbus Industrie in 1985 to lead Product Support, he gave this essential function a significant boost at the time of the entry into service of the first fly-by-wire airliner, the A320. His subsequent functions led him to bring his expertise to various other fields, while continuing to gain multicultural expertise: he successively became Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Deutsche Aerospace Airbus in the early nineties, and Chief Executive Officer of Aerospatiale Matra Airbus in 1999. Mr Blanc re-joined Airbus in 2000 as Executive Vice President Programmes and then Operations, and was a member of the Airbus Executive Committee.
"Over the years Gérard and I have been working together on the Airbus programmes, I learned to appreciate his outstanding expertise and determination to make things move forward," Mr Humbert added. "In the past few years, he greatly contributed to the successful integration of Airbus into a single company, as well as to the efficient progress of the various Airbus programmes, including our "Route 06" cost saving programme which is now bearing it fruit. In the name of all at Airbus, I wish to thank Gérard for all his exceptional contribution to aviation and his passion for Airbus, and wish him all the best for the future".
Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.
Note to the editors:
The list of EC members is below.
AIRBUS Executive Committee
Gustav Humbert : President and CEO
Charles Champion : COO and A380 Programme
John Leahy : COO - Customers
Karl-Heinz Hartmann : Executive VP - Operations
Tom Williams : Executive VP - Programmes
Henri Courpron : Executive VP - Procurement
Andreas Sperl : CFO
Erik Pillet : Executive VP - Human Resources
Olivier Andriès : Executive VP - Strategy and Cooperation
Alain Flourens : Executive VP - Centres of Excellence
Juan Carlos Martinez Saiz : Executive VP - Military Programmes