Airbus picks sales chief Scherer to run jetmaking arm -sources

Airbus picks sales chief Scherer to run jetmaking arm -sources


Airbus picks sales chief Scherer to run jetmaking arm -sources

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus (AIR.PA) is set to appoint sales chief Christian Scherer as the head of its core planemaking business in its biggest management revamp for years, as it juggles supply pressures with challenges in defence and space, industry sources said.

The move, which could be announced within days, frees CEO Guillaume Faury to focus on broader strategy after four years of doubling up as planemaking head, including during the pandemic.

Reuters revealed the plans to reorganise in July and this month Scherer, a career-long insider who currently serves as chief commercial officer, emerged as one of the main candidates to run the jetmaking arm, which accounts for 70% of revenue.

Airbus declined to comment.

The shake-up leaves some room for further gradual renewal of operational leadership amid possible retirements, said the sources, who declined to be named as the talks are confidential. The board has said it is focused on succession planning.

Airbus reorganisations are more sensitive than most because of a history of friction between founders France and Germany. Since 2019, Faury has run the group and its largest segment.

Scherer's appointment heralds broad continuity inside the world's largest civil jet producer, which competes with arch-rival Boeing in the $150 billion annual jet market.

But it marks a return to a delicate system of separate leaders at the group and airplane business, which was abandoned in 2019 after a politically charged power battle between Fabrice Bregier and CEO Tom Enders, both of whom eventually stood down.

Governance concerns have cooled under Faury, whose tenure has been dominated by efforts to survive worldwide groundings during the pandemic followed by a snapback in demand, as well as a drive towards industrial transformation and decarbonisation.

Bruno Even, who succeeded fellow Frenchman Faury as head of Airbus Helicopters and had been seen as another candidate for the new role, will stay at the world's largest commercial helicopter maker where sales and margins have risen.

Born in Germany and raised in Toulouse, 61-year-old Scherer has spent his career in the Airbus commercial arm, apart from stints in Defence and as CEO of turboprop affiliate ATR.