Airbus CEO will not seek third term: report

Paris (AFP) –


Tom Enders will not seek a third term as CEO of Airbus, the Le Figaro newspaper reported Tuesday, although the embattled aircraft manufacturer denied a decision had been made.

"No decision has been taken and what we are seeing today in the French press is pure speculation," a spokesman from Airbus, which faces bribery and graft probes in several European countries, told AFP.

A source quoted on the French newspaper's website said it will be confirmed that Enders will not continue as chief executive beyond his current term, which runs until May 2019, on Thursday at the final board meeting of the year.

"Tom informed the Elysee very recently that he will not seek a third term," the source told Le Figaro.

The report indicated that the position of Enders, who was appointed CEO in 2012, was weakened by the corruption scandal that has hit the company.

Airbus is under investigation by French prosecutors and Britain's Serious Fraud Office for suspected corruption in its UK-based civil aviation arm.

The probes were opened last year after Airbus raised suspicions itself over irregular transactions.

The group is also the target of probes in Austria and Germany over the sale of Eurofighter military jets to Austria in 2003.

In October, Enders told a German newspaper he was prepared to step down if he was "no longer part of the solution".

"I'm not glued to my job," he told the Handelsblatt financial newspaper.