Christian Streiff, the chief executive of troubled planemaker Airbus, has resigned after just three months in the job. The official announcement, following days of rumours, came after the European stock markets closed on Monday, but earlier the shares of parent company EADS had already fallen further.
Sources said he quit because he was not given the autonomy and the money that he wanted to sort out the mess at Airbus caused by delays of its A380 superjumbo. Last week Airbus said deliveries to airlines will now run two years late, due to unanticipated complications in the wiring for the giant planes.
EADS’s French co-chief executive, Louis Gallois, will now take on the day-to-day running of Airbus. Gallois, who used to run Aerospatiale, one of the groups folded into EADS, was hired after a previous leadership crisis led to the resignation of Airbus’ boss Gustav Humbert and EADS co-CEO Noel Forgeard.
One industry observer said Streiff’s position became untenable after he exposed deep flaws in Airbus’ industrial methods and suggested politically sensitive job cuts. The Germans were particularly upset that he accused Airbus teams in Hamburg of causing the wiring problems by using obsolete design software.