Airbus execs quit

Stephen Beard Jul 3, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Two top executives at the European aircraft maker Airbus and its parent company have quit. The two men have been forced out of office, two weeks after announcing delays in the company’s new super jumbo jet, the A380. From the European Desk in London, Stephen Beard has the story.


STEPHEN BEARD: After two weeks of turmoil, it was inevitable that heads would roll. And they have.

Noel Forgeard the co-chief executive of EADS, Airbus’ parent company, was the first to go. He’s been forced out after admitting that he dumped several million dollars worth of stock before announcing delays in the A380.

Analyst Philippe Chatenay says the French public clamored for him to go because the French government owns a large stake in the company:

PHILIPPE CHATENAY: I think in the minds of the French, EADS belongs to all of us. And so I think we not only find M. Forgeard’s methods quite repugnant, but also that he’s taking our money.

The head of Airbus itself has also quit, taking the blame for the delays in the A380. The super-jumbo is now running one year behind schedule.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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