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Airbus CEO will not seek third term: report

[PARIS] Tom Enders will not seek a third term as CEO of Airbus, France's Le Figaro newspaper reported Tuesday, citing sources close to the matter.

But Mr Enders later told AFP that his term runs until April 2019, "and that is the timeline I am working in".

A source quoted on Le Figaro's website said that "Tom informed the Elysee very recently that he will not seek a third term" at the head of the European plane giant, referring to the office of French President Emmanuel Macron.

France, Germany and Spain all hold significant stakes in the aerospace group, which is considered a strategic player in transport and defence.

Mr Enders's departure will be confirmed at an Airbus board meeting Thursday, Le Figaro said, indicating that the CEO's position had been weakened by a corruption scandal that has hit the company.

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"The decision regarding my future as chief executive of Airbus will not be taken by the French press, nor by the French government, nor by any other government," Mr Enders said in a statement to AFP.

"It will be taken either by the board... or by me, and ideally it will be by consensus between the board and myself," he said.

A spokesman for the French president's office said it had "no comment" on the report, while an Airbus spokesman had previously called it "pure speculation".

Airbus is under investigation by French prosecutors and Britain's Serious Fraud Office for suspected corruption in its UK-based civil aviation arm.

The probes were opened last year after Airbus raised suspicions itself over irregular transactions.

The group is also the target of inquiries in Austria and Germany over the sale of Eurofighter military jets to Austria in 2003.

In October, Mr Enders told a German newspaper he was prepared to step down if he was "no longer part of the solution".

"I'm not glued to my job," he told the Handelsblatt financial newspaper.


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