Airbus Board Is Said Poised to Name Frenchman Faury as CEO

(Bloomberg) -- Airbus SE’s board is meeting Monday to appoint Guillaume Faury as the planemaker’s next chief executive officer, folding the top job in with his current position as head of commercial aircraft, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Airbus Board Is Said Poised to Name Frenchman Faury as CEO

Key Insights

  • The change won’t occur until April, when current CEO Tom Enders is due to step down along with Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm. That gives Faury, who’s only been in the commercial-aircraft role since December, more time to learn the ropes.
  • The appointment is a victory for staff who had been pulling for Faury, the top internal candidate. (French media reports had suggested Thales CEO Patrice Caine was under consideration by Airbus’s board).
  • Airbus has already struggled and failed to integrate an outsider in top management, after Eric Schulz, who hailed from engine-maker Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, lasted less than nine months as head of sales.
  • Combining the top two roles at Airbus is a logical progression after Enders spent years trying to better integrate the group. With direct oversight of production, Faury will be responsible for fixing glitches that have plagued the popular A320neo narrowbody jet.

Market Reaction

  • The planemaker’s shares were little changed as of 1:01 p.m. in Paris after Le Figaro newspaper reported Sunday on the plans, bringing its year-to-date gain to 25 percent. A spokesman for Airbus declined to comment on the meeting.
  • Appointing Faury will clear up questions about succession that have “clouded the investment case for months,” Barclays analyst Phil Buller said in a note to clients.