Airbus chief operating officer Fabrice Bregier is stepping down after losing his bid for the top job in a larger shake-up of senior management at Europe’s flagship plane-maker.
The news came as it emerged that chief executive officer Tom Enders will not seek re-election when his term ends, in April 2019. Bregier’s planned departure, in February, gives Enders a free hand for the rest of his reign, says Reuters, but also casts the CEO “as a caretaker as Airbus looks for fresh blood to lead it out of a growing corruption scandal”.
The boardroom shuffle is taking place amid “ongoing bribery investigations related to the use of middlemen in military and commercial airplane sales”, Bloomberg reports. Enders has warned that Airbus may be in line for “significant penalties”.
Bregier had long been seen as the natural heir to Enders, but Airbus directors did not support his bid, says the Financial Times. Instead, Bregier himself will be replaced by Guillaume Faury, currently chief executive of Airbus Helicopters, the BBC reports.