ATR’s Scherer appointed as Airbus CCO

Airbus has appointed ATR’s Christian Scherer to the role of chief commercial officer (CCO) following the resignation of Eric Schulz less than a year into his role.

The company is replacing its chief of sales for the second time in less than a year, as despite only taking up his position at the end of January this year, Schulz took the decision to leave the company for “personal reasons.”

Scherer is taking on the role with immediate effect, moving from his role at ATR, the turboprop manufacturer owned by Airbus and Leonardo, where he has been CEO since 2016.

Tom Enders, Airbus CEO, expressed regret at Schulz’s decision, adding: “We wish him all the best for his future.”

Commenting on Scherer’s appointment he said: “With Christian Scherer we see one of our most customer-focused leaders at the commercial helm of Airbus. Over his various assignments I greatly valued his international mind-set, his strategic vision, and tremendous commercial expertise.”

Scherer leaves ATR part-way through his four-year term of leadership at the company. It is not yet known who will take over as CEO of ATR, but the company has said the succession of Scherer will be announced in the coming days.

Speaking on his departure from ATR, Scherer said: “I have been incredibly lucky to have led ATR for the past years and to set out the path for its sustainable future. I am convinced that the turboprop is part of the future of aviation and I thank all the ATR teams for their passion with which we make ATR the preferred choice to connect people and places regionally.”

This change comes at a tumultuous time for Airbus, which has been facing delivery delays due to engine issues, with the company stating in its half-year financial results for 2018 that while a recovery plan is in place and the number of stored aircraft has started to decline from its peak, “risks remain to meet the 800 aircraft delivery target, which is challenging.”

It has also been a year of upheaval in the leadership of the company. Last December it was announced that Enders would not seek another term as CEO beyond his current mandate, which runs until the Annual Shareholders Meeting in April 2019. In February, Fabrice Brégier stepped down from his role as chief operating officer and president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

Schulz had moved from his position as President – Civil Aerospace at Rolls-Royce to take up the role of EVP, chief of sales, marketing and contracts at Airbus, succeeding John Leahy, who announced his retirement in November 2017 after leading the Commercial Aircraft’s Sales organisation since 1994.

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