Air Transport World

Tougher approach seen with new Airbus management team.

Tougher approach seen with new Airbus management team

Major changes in internal organization and the external approach to the world marketplace are a distinct possibility from Airbus Industrie, the French-West German-British-Spanish consortium manufacturing and developing the A300, A310 and A320 airline "family.' These changes may come with the moving into office here of two new men at the top, Jean Pierson (44), as president and chief executive officer, and Johann Schaffler (49), as executive VP and general manager.

The first task which Pierson, a Frenchman, and Schaffler, a West German, tackled when they took over the seats recently vacated by Bernard Lathiere and Roger Beteille respectively was to conduct a comprehensive review of the framework of the Airbus organization, first set up in 1967, including its financial, technological and sales performances. This job was given them as a matter of high priority by the supervisory board of Airbus, on which the partner manufacturing companies sit, usually at chairman and managing director level, and which is chaired by the West German politician Franz Josef Strauss. The board gave the new duo a month to carry out the inquiry, and to report back.

Schaffler said at the first meeting he and Pierson had with the press here, "If you are new people, with different styles of approach, it is fair to give them the freedom to review. It is not a fact that we were asked to change.'

New era possible

That may be so, but few close observers of the European aerospace scene expect that the new management team will allow things to go on exactly as before. …

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