Scandal-hit EADS and Airbus bosses step down

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Scandal-hit EADS and Airbus bosses step down

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After weeks of intense pressure to resign over an insider trading scandal, the chief executive of Airbus’ parent company EADS, Noel Forgeard, has stepped down.

He is accused of deliberately selling shares in the Franco-German company just before it announced a delay to its Airbus A380.

When the problems were made public last month, shares fell by 26 per cent.

Forgeard says he sold the shares in March and was unaware of the delays until April but his protestations of innocence failed to cut any ice with shareholders.

He will be replaced by fellow Frenchman Louis Gallois, head of the French state railway company, SNCF.

Forgeard’s is not the only head to roll.

Airbus boss Gustav Humbert has also quit to take responsiblity for the hold-up in production and delivery of the superjumbos. He described the delays as a major disappointment for customers, shareholders and employees.

His job will be taken by Christian Streiff, a former executive at French building materials group Saint-Gobain.

Following the insider trading allegations, there were also calls for EADS to end its dual management structure, deemed by some to be unwieldy. It has two chief executives and two chairmen – one from France, the other from Germany – but it looks as though this practice will continue.