Airbus Group SE has just announced that they will combine all of its existing divisions into a single company sixteen years after it was initially formed. This represents a major step towards simplifying a business that is a major player in everything from jetliners to space launchers. Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders has made it his personal mission to cut costs and speed up the decision-making process within the company. The number two in the company is Fabrice Bregier who becomes the chief operating officer while also retaining his position as head or president of the main plane making unit which has since been renamed to Airbus Commercial Aircraft. Bregier will have oversight of the company’s entire portfolio as the chief operating officer which includes missiles, satellites, helicopters and defense electronics.
The main driving force behind the revamp, which was announced Friday, is aimed at establishing Airbus as a regular company while dropping the antiquated business model that was created back in 2000 as part of the largest merger between France, Germany, and Spain aerospace companies. The plan for succession is intended for the 55 year old Frenchman Bregier to succeed the 57 year old German Enders when he decides to finally hang it up. Airbus stock has declined 15 percent this year valuing the company at 40.6 billion euros and Marwan Lahoud is now the number two at the corporate level.
Lahoud’s role as strategy director will have his research and development activities overseen by Paul Eremenko who has worked for Google and Pentagon’s advanced-research arm. And while Airbus has revealed nothing into the scope of potential job cuts, Enders has cautioned that the changes on the workforce “are not negligible.” He also said that the cuts won’t approach the level of the Power8 programs which costed 8,000 people their jobs but ultimately saved 2.5 billion euros annually.
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