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Ranque appointed chairman of Airbus

Ranque appointed chairman of Airbus

René Obermann has become chairman of Airbus, succeeding Denis Ranque.

The move was made following the annual general meeting in Amsterdam, at which shareholders approved all resolutions on the agenda.

Owing to the global coronavirus outbreak, shareholders were encouraged to vote by proxy instead of attending the event physically, in line with public health and safety measures.

Shareholders showed a very high level of voting and strong engagement despite the Covid-19 situation, with 575 million votes expressed, up five per cent compared to the 2019 event and representing around 74 per cent of the outstanding share capital. 

On March 23rd, Airbus announced that it was withdrawing a voting item from the original annual general meeting agenda related to the proposed payment of the 2019 dividend.

The withdrawal of the dividend proposal was one of a number of measures announced by the company to bolster liquidity and its balance sheet in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Following shareholder approval, Mark Dunkerley and Stephan Gemkow each joined the board as non-executive directors for a period of three years.

Dunkerley has extensive experience of the commercial airline and aviation industry and is currently a member of the board of Spirit Airlines, while Gemkow is a member of the board of Amadeus IT Group and a former airline executive with 22 years at Lufthansa.

The mandates of non-executive directors Ralph Crosby and Lord Drayson (Paul) were each renewed for three years.

Denis Ranque and Hermann-Josef Lamberti both stepped down as planned from the board.


“I thank the board for the trust they have shown in me to succeed Denis as chairman of this great, visionary company,” said Obermann.

“I look forward to working even more closely with the management team and my board colleagues to help the company address its immediate and longer-term challenges, and in particular our response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Obermann has been an independent non-executive director on the Airbus board since April 2018.

He is a partner and managing director of private equity firm Warburg Pincus and a former chief executive officer of Deutsche Telekom.

Shareholders also approved the proposed remuneration policy, which includes the introduction of a sustainability component.

This is in line with market best practices and is designed to reinforce alignment between the Airbus’ strategy, its values and the remuneration structure.