Airbus picks Schulz to succeed sales supremo Leahy
LONDON: Airbus SE appointed Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc’s Eric Schulz ( pic) to succeed sales chief John Leahy, plucking a top executive from one of its most important partners to replace a manager who ratcheted up more than US$1.7 trillion in deals over 23 years.
Schulz, 54, the head of civil aerospace at the UK engine-maker, will join Airbus as an executive vice-president and chief of sales, marketing and contracts, the Toulouse, Francebased planemaker said in a statement yesterday.
Leahy, 67, will be a tough act to follow, after selling more than 16,000 aircraft under his leadership. He’ll stay on for a short transition period, according to the announcement. Adding to the challenge for Schulz is a series of ongoing corruption investigations into Airbus’ use of middlemen to secure multi-million dollar transactions.
Schulz, who joined Rolls-Royce in 2010 after seven years at US-based Goodrich Corp, was promoted to his current role in January last year. The London-based company is a key supplier to Airbus models, with exclusive deals to power the latest A350 wide-body and re-engined A330neo.
Schulz brings “broad international experience in the aerospace industry, a deep understanding of airline operations and aero engines as well as a proven track record in building and effectively leading organisations,” Airbus chief executive officer Tom Enders said.
Leahy, while unveiling a record US$50bil narrow-body plane deal at the Dubai Air Show this month, hasn’t been able to secure a vital follow-on order for the slow-selling A380 superjumbo, as the deal with Emirates fell apart at the last minute. It’s still possible that the sale supremo could secure the contract before he leaves.