Airbus looses top bosses and value

3rd Jul 2006

Airbus is under the spotlight Monday after two key executives left and Rothschild valued its Airbus stake 25 percent less than expected.

EADS, Airbus’ parent has pushed out its co-chief executive, Noel Forgeard, and the boss of Airbus, Gustav Humbert in bid to end a two-week crisis over delays to its A380 superjumbo.

While NM Rothschild has independently valued BAE Systems’ 20 percent stake in Airbus at 2.75 billion euros, much lower than the 3.75-7.00 billon euros the UK firm had expected.

EADS has lost five percent of its value in stockmarket trading on Monday morning.

Statement on Airbus’ CEO, Gustav Humbert’s resignation:


Gustav Humbert, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus SAS, has tendered his resignation from his position with immediate effect. He has also resigned from the EADS Executive Committee.

Mr Humbert has been President and CEO since June 2005 and on the Executive Committee of Airbus since July 2000. He held the positions of Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Company between July 2000 and June 2005, and in addition acted as Executive Vice President Programmes between March 2004 and June 2005.

Commenting on his decision, Gustav Humbert said: “The recently announced delay on the A380 production and delivery programme has been a major disappointment for our customers, our shareholders and our employees. As President and CEO of Airbus, I must take responsibility for this setback and feel the right course of action is to offer my resignation to our shareholders.”

“Airbus has been through many years of great success to which I am proud to have contributed. Now the time has come to give way to a new management team able to restore the company’s image quickly and to lead Airbus into the future. A new leadership can only be formed with a new Chairman and a new President and CEO. The new management must then be empowered to drive forward those issues which we have started to address over the last twelve months” Airbus’ renewed customer focus, its product and internationalisation strategy and the urgent need for change in key industrial processes.”

“I would like to thank everyone with whom I have had the pleasure of working during more than 25 years at Airbus, in particular my colleagues in the Executive Committee. I know it will in time be recognised that the current delay on the A380 programme is purely a temporary industrial issue. It will have no effect on the performance and market recognition of this wonderful aircraft. Nor does the delay change Airbus’ extraordinary overall growth prospects.

Airbus’ industry leadership, capabilities and values remain strong foundations to build for the future. The Company, its products, both present and future, and above all its talented and committed employees, have an excellent outlook ahead, and I will watch their progress with great pride.”

Gustav Humbert joined Airbus-predecessor Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm in 1980 and held many managerial positions in the Airbus division of the German Airbus partner until becoming Airbus COO in 2000. He was born in Celle, Germany in February 1950. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering and production technology from Hannover Technical University as well as a PhD in engineering from the University of Hannover, School of Machinery.

Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.


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