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Airbus boss Enders to be CEO of parent group EADS

The Airbus manufacturer EADS has finally confirmed that Tom Enders will succeed Louis Gallois as chief executive at the Franco-German group.

Mr Enders, a German who heads the Airbus subsidiary, has long been expected to take over from Mr Gallois when the 67-year-old Frenchman steps down this year.

The two had jointly run the company, which is the great rival of US giant Boeing, until 2007 when it was decided it was more sensible to have one person in charge.

However, the appointment has been politically tortuous, as the French and German governments are the company's major shareholders. Britain has also been watching carefully, as Airbus employs 15,000 people, primarily at Broughton in Flintshire, North Wales, and at Filton, near Bristol.

The appointment has been delayed while the French look to ensure they will still have sufficient influence at executive level. They seem to have been satisfied after it was confirmed yesterday that Jean-Claude Trichet, the French former president of the European Central Bank, will join the board.

Mr Gallois said that Mr Enders had the "charisma" and "established track record" needed to run a company the size of EADS. The pan-European group received firm orders for 1,419 aircraft in 2011, besting Boeing for the ninth successive year.

In other moves announced after a meeting in Amsterdam, the French media magnate Arnaud Lagardère is set to become chairman, replacing Boso Uebber. Mr Lagardère is currently a member of the EADS board and will be replaced by Mr Trichet.

The new management team will assemble in June. At the end of May, an EADS meeting will have to formally ratify the changes. Mr Gallois' tenure has been considered a success, as there have been more orders for Airbus jets than Boeing's aircraft in every year he has been solely in charge.