Airbus is launching a reorganisation of its commercial aircraft sales operations in a move likely to focus fresh attention on a delicate balance of power at Europe's largest aerospace company, people familiar with the situation said. Ciara Lee reports.
There have been simmering tensions since an internal merger at Airbus And its latest shake-up could lead to more turbulence. The globe-trotting sales team, best known for contesting leadership of the market with Boeing, is to report directly to Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders. And bypassing commercial aircraft president Fabrice Bregier. How responsibility is divided inside the company could prove challenging. Particularly after recent industrial and regulatory problems. And the shake-up comes fresh off the back of last week's Paris Airshow where Airbus lost on orders to Boeing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS MARKET STRATEGIST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "It's quite possible the reshuffle is a function of the relatively poor showing of Airbus in terms of its order book this year. I mean if you look at the numbers Airbus at the moment is something like 40 planes shy of where Boeing's tally comes in." Bregier and Enders have long been rivals but had reached what was widely seen as a peace deal over the internal merger. Bregier stepped aside from his role as chief executive of the Airbus civil business when Airbus combined with Airbus Group. But he remained in charge of the planemaking business. Some say the decision to shift sales from his direct control raises uncertainty over the stability of the management deal.