Airbus appointed Rolls-Royce's Eric Schulz 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 $1.7 trillion dollars in deals over 23 years.
Schulz, 54, the head of civil aerospace at the U.K. engine-maker, will join Airbus as an executive vice president and chief of sales, marketing and contracts, the Toulouse, France-based planemaker said in a statement Tuesday.
Leahy, 67, will be a tough act to follow, after selling more 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’s use of middlemen to secure multimillion 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 organizations,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders said.
Leahy, while unveiling a record $50 billion narrow-body plane deal at the Dubai Airshow 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.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.