New Airbus chief warns of job losses

11th Oct 2006

The new CEO of Airbus has warned there are likely to be “painful” job losses at the company following the announced delays to its A380 superjumbo.Gallois is reported by the BBC to have said that cost-cutting plans would include the “eliminations of posts, and we will have to pose questions about sites”.

According to the same quote Gallois accepted that “there will be job losses,”. Whatever is decided would take place “after several months of work” and be marked by “dialogue and balance”, he added.

Meanwhile Spanish Economy Minister Pedro Solbes has said that Spain was interested in raising its minority stake in EADS, the parent firm of Airbus, to safeguard factories. And German Economy Minister Michael Glos has said his government would “work with all its strength” to help local sites.

Louis Gallois took office at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse onm Tuesday, meeting with the Airbus Executives, as well as with the local Officials and Union representatives. This follows his appointment Monday evening by the EADS Board of Directors as new President and Chief Executive Officer of Airbus with immediate effect. Mr Gallois remains Co-CEO of EADS, a position he held since July 2006. Mr Gallois succeeds Christian Streiff, who has resigned from this position. Mr Gallois joins Airbus with a vast experience in the aviation business, having been head of SNECMA (now Safran) and Aerospatiale (now part of EADS) in the late 80ies and 90ies.

A graduate of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) and in Economic Science, as well as of the Ecole Nationale de l’Administration (ENA), Louis Gallois started his career in 1972 in the staff of the French Department of the Treasury. In 1981 he became Head of the Cabinet Office of the Ministry of Research and Industry, becoming Director General for Industry in the same Ministry one year later. In 1988 he was nominated to the position of Head of the Civil and Military Cabinet office of the French Ministry of Defence.


In 1989, Louis Gallois moved to the industry, being first appointed Chairman and CEO of the aeronautical engine manufacturer SNECMA, now part of Safran. In 1992, he became Chairman and CEO of French aerospace manufacturer Aerospatiale (now part of EADS). In this capacity he was a member of the Airbus Industrie Groupement d’Intérêt Economique (GIE) Supervisory Board, and in charge of the Aerospatiale Airbus Division. From 1996 until June 2006, Louis Gallois was Chairman of the French National Railways (SNCF). Since the creation of EADS in 2001, he was also a member of the grouping’s Board of Directors.

Louis Gallois is also a Board member of the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures (school of Engineering) as well as Chairman of the Fondation Villette-Entreprises.

Born in January 1944, Louis Gallois is married with three children.

Louis Gallois hold the title of Officier de l’ordre National du mérite (Officer of the French notional order of merit) and Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (officier of the French legion of Honour).


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