Change of the guards today at Airbus, where at the Annual General Meeting in Amsterdam Guillaume Faury was elected executive member of the board of directors for the next three years. At the same time, the position was vacated by long-standing CEO Tom Enders, while Harald Wilhelm said goodbye as Chief Financial Officer.
The succession had been planned for some time, with Enders announcing his departure in late 2017. When the expected promotion of President Commercial Aircraft Fabrice Brégier failed to happen and resulted in his departure early last year, it opened the way up for Airbus Helicopters President Guillaume Faury. First as Brégiers successor at Commercial Aircraft and now as Executive of the Board.
“The financial evolution of Airbus of the last ten years was only possible because we very strongly pursued the three I’s: integration, internationalization, and innovation. We have to build a solid basis for the company, but Guillaume still has some upside potential. I am absolutely convinced we have found the right man to lead Airbus in the next years and in the next decade. He has all the right stuff and skills, so that makes me very optimistic for the company”, Enders said in his final speech to shareholders.
Enders particularly praised Harald Wilhelm, who has been with Airbus for 28 years and has been succeeded on April 1 by Dominik Asam, who has joined from German company Infineon Technologies AG. “I could not have done my job without Harald Wilhelm, who I have always called my wingman. I think the company would not be the same without Harald’s hard work, courage, and integrity in creating value for our customers and shareholders”, said Enders, who joined Airbus the same quarter in 1991.
“I have been working closely with Tom and Harald in the last six years. They have driven the company to pivotal change. I am confident that we will continue on to deliver our growth potential and there will be continuity and consistency on equity and strategy”, said Faury.
This strategy means securing the long-term future of Airbus’ commercial aircraft division, helicopters, space and defense, in which digitalization will become ever more important and consolidation is expected to continue.
The Airbus board will see more changes until the next AGM with chairman Denis Ranque stepping down in 2020 to be replaced by Rene Obermann.
The new faces of Airbus: CFO Dominik Asam and CEO Guillaume Faury. (Airbus)