Airbus Group CEO keeping options open on new term

Tue May 27, 2014 1:33pm EDT
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By Tim Hepher

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Airbus Group Chief Executive Tom Enders has ruled out taking another job in aerospace or going into politics when he eventually decides to step down from Europe's largest aerospace group - but is not yet ready to say when that will be.

Speaking to Reuters ahead of a shareholders' meeting, the 55-year-old chief executive said he would not begin to address whether to seek a second three-year term before next year.

"At the moment my contract is still running for two years, so we will discuss perhaps in a year from now," Enders said.

"In 2016, I will have been in the industry for 25 years. It’s quite hard to move to another job in the aerospace industry if you’ve been the CEO of Airbus Group," he said, adding: "No, I’m not thinking about politics."

Tuesday's meeting marks the half-way point in Enders' eventful four-year mandate as CEO, which saw a bid for BAE Systems to create the world's largest defense company blocked by German opposition, and an overhaul of company structure designed to curb French and German state influence.

"I still like what I’m doing; it’s a fantastic industry," Enders said. "Caffeine and kerosene really wake me up and make me happy...Maybe there’s still something for me to do. I’m not completely bored.

"I can’t offer you an adventure every second day though. It’s now execution, execution, execution, we have to deliver; it’s so important. We have lots of ideas but we have to make resources match with ambitions.

"We have a new shareholder structure with over 70 percent free float. They have high expectations; we don’t want to disappoint them."   Continued...

Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Group, attends the Airbus Group 2013 annual results presentation in Toulouse February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau