Airbus Shakeup Sees Technology, Defense Chiefs Leave Company

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Airbus Shakeup Sees Technology, Defense Chiefs Leave Company

Airbus Shakeup Sees Technology, Defense Chiefs Leave Company

(Bloomberg) — Airbus SE shook up its senior leadership, with the heads of its defense and technology units set to leave the company.

Dirk Hoke, chief executive officer of the defense and space division, will pursue other opportunities and depart on July 1, the European planemaker said in a statement Monday. He will be succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Michael Schoellhorn.

Chief Technology Officer Grazia Vittadini will leave on the same date after 19 years with the company, with Sabine Klauke replacing her, Airbus said.

The loss of Vittadini comes as the European planemaker seeks to chart a course toward lower emissions with an ambitious plan to develop a hydrogen jet. The reshuffle, two years into the reign of Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury, follows a broad overhaul of Airbus’s top management prompted by a years-long corruption scandal.

“As we emerge from Covid-19 and look forward to the next phases in the development of our civil and military activities, we are making important changes to the leadership team,” Faury said in the statement.

Both Vittadini and Hoke were brought into the executive team under Faury’s predecessor Tom Enders. Hoke will finish work on key projects such as Eurodrone, which aims to produce a fleet of remotely piloted planes, and the FCAS future-fighter program before departing.

Vittadini is a significant presence in the industry and was recently added to the supervisory committee of Siemens AG in Germany.

The moves mean that Alberto Gutierrez will be the new COO, while current Executive Vice-President of Engineering Jean-Brice Dumont becomes head of military aircraft and Klauke will take on the role of chief engineer in addition to her CTO position.

(Updates with additional context on moves from sixth paragraph.)

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