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New Airbus CEO takes charge with leaner structure

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Newly appointed Chief Executive Guillaume Faury imposed his mark on European planemaker Airbus with a simplified management structure and a manifesto for manufacturing reforms, as Airbus gears up for intensified competition with Boeing.

[PARIS] Newly appointed Chief Executive Guillaume Faury imposed his mark on European planemaker Airbus with a simplified management structure and a manifesto for manufacturing reforms, as Airbus gears up for intensified competition with Boeing.

The 51-year-old former military flight test engineer and auto executive announced the changes in his first full day in the role after the retirement of Tom Enders.

"We are in a period of exceptional change in our industry and we need to prepare Airbus for the opportunities and challenges ahead," Mr Faury said in a statement.

"We will utilise new digital technologies to optimise our industrial system," he added.

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Airbus unveiled a new management structure with a 12-person executive committee eliminating a separate president for the planemaking division, which makes up the bulk of company profits and revenues and which Mr Faury had been running for the past year.

It lifted engineering, communications and sales to the management top table and appeared to sideline procurement, which had previously been represented on the main executive body.

Mr Faury was formally appointed on Wednesday after rising through the helicopters unit to jetliners via a four-year R&D leadership role in the auto industry at Peugeot maker PSA Group.

Airbus celebrates its 50th anniversary as a planemaker this year and its 20th since the announcement of a pan-European merger that resulted in the creation of a wider Franco-German aerospace group, now integrated into Airbus itself.

Analysts say the latest transition coincides with a shift away from an obsession with market-share battles with rival Boeing in earlier years, to one focusing on production methods imported increasingly from the car industry as output rises.

REUTERS