Airbus has appointed Eric Schulz to take over from John Leahy, who is due to retire after 33 years with the company.
Schulz will join in January 2018 as executive vice president – chief of sales – marketing & contracts for the commercial aircraft business, and will report to chief executive officer, Tom Enders.
The 54-year-old started his career in 1986 with Aerospatiale-Sogerma and has held senior management positions in companies including UTA, Air France, AOM, Air Liberte-British Airways, Goodrich, EADS, and most recently as president of civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce since January 2016.
Enders says: “He [Schulz] has broad international experience in the aerospace industry, a deep understanding of airline operations and aero engines as well as a proven track record in building and effectively leading organisations in complex environments.”
“This combination of skills and experience makes Eric the right pick to succeed John Leahy at a critical juncture of our company’s development.”
Leahy, known to airlines as ‘Mr Airbus’, joined in 1985 from Piper Aircraft, and more than 16,000 aircraft have been sold under his leadership, 90 per cent of all Airbus aircraft ever sold.
Enders says no words express the company’s gratitude to Leahy, saying: “His contribution to Airbus’ commercial aircraft business is epic. His relentless efforts, his vision and his dedication were key factors in propelling the company from an industry underdog to a world leader. No matter how hard the challenge I have never seen John give up on anything.”
Enders adds: “His tremendous fighting spirit and his unwavering loyalty to the Airbus flag have made him an inspiration for many, including me. He has become a good personal friend and I wish him a restful and well-deserved retirement.”
Leahy will remain with Airbus for a transition period of a few months with his successor.