Enders to succeed Gallois as new chief of EADS

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The Independent Online

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 up the Airbus subsidiary, has long been expected to take over from Frenchman Mr Gallois when he 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 that 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 group's major shareholders. The UK has also been watching carefully, as Airbus employs 15,000 people primarily in Broughton in North Wales and Filton near Bristol.

The appointment has been delayed while the French look to ensure that 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 Frenchman who is the former president of the European Central Bank, will join the board.

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

In other moves announced after a meeting in Amsterdam, French media magnate Arnaud Lagardere is set to become chairman, replacing Boso Uebber. Mr Lagardere is currently a member of the EADS board.

The new management team will assemble in June. At the end of May, an EADS general counsel meeting will have to formally ratify the changes.