Europe’s aerospace and defence champion EADS held one of the toughest annual general meetings in its history on Monday. It comes amid a whirlpool of growing Franco-German management rivalry, a police investigation into a former boss, and poor results. Company president Louis Gallois says the year’s performance was “unsatisfactory”.
EADS went into the red last year after a stream of profitable years during which its Airbus civil plane subsidiary knocked America’s Boeing off the planemaker’s top spot. But pride comes before a fall, and production problems with the latest mega-jumbo, the A 380, started the bad news flowing.
Now high oil prices mean airlines are cutting back, the weak dollar means thinner profits, and the French are complaining their workers are feeling the worst of the cost-cutting programme, Power Eight, while the Germans are having it easier.