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Airbus replaces 'legendary' John Leahy as sales chief with Rolls-Royce's Eric Schulz

Airbus has poached a Rolls-Royce executive to replace John Leahy as head of sales at the pan-European plane-maker.
Eric Schulz, currently president of the civil aerospace at Rolls, will join Airbus at the end of January, as chief of sales.
Mr Leahy is famed in the civil aerospace world for his sales skills and nicknamed “Mr Airbus” after a 33-year career with the company.
He has been involved in the sale of of 16,000 of the company’s aircraft - almost every one of the total 17,370 orders Airbus has taken since he started with the company. 
An American, Mr Leahy joined Airbus from Piper Aircraft and took the head of commercial aircraft sales role in 1994.
Airbus replaces 'legendary' John Leahy as sales chief with Rolls-Royce's Eric Schulz

John Leahy - known as 'Mr Airbus' - is to leave the company after 33 years there

Credit:
AFP
He is credited for playing a crucial role in Airbus going from being a start-up in the airliner world to an industry giant that battles with Boeing for dominance in the sector and led to him being described by an executive at the US plane-maker as "the guy we love to hate".
Mr Leahy never took an executive-level role at Airbus that would have required his salary to be disclosed. It is thought he is one of the highest paid people in the industry, with it assumed that he earns a commission on each aircraft sale he is involved in.
He was also instrumental in the launch of double-decker A380 super jumbo, which has failed to land the orders the company hoped for and is looking increasingly likely to be cancelled.
So far Airbus has taken orders for just 319 A380s and delivered all but 100 of them. Mr Leahy remains a powerful advocate for the aircraft despite the poor sales.
He has previously described the A380 as “the aircraft of the future”, which will solve the problem of increasingly congested airports as more flights struggle for take-off and landing slots.
Mr Leahy’s reputation as a supreme deal-maker took a blow at the Dubai airshow earlier this month when a widely expected sale of more than 30 A380s to Emirates - the aircraft’s biggest customer - fell apart at the last minute. 
Tom Enders, Airbus chief executive, called Mr Leahy’s contribution to Airbus “epic”. He added: “His relentless efforts, vision and dedication were key factors in propelling the company from an industry underdog to a world leader.”
Airbus replaces 'legendary' John Leahy as sales chief with Rolls-Royce's Eric Schulz

Eric Schulz will take over responsibility for selling Airbus's aircraft

Credit:
AFP
Mr Schulz, who will join Airbus in January, started his career with in 1986 with Aerospatiale-Sogerma and has worked at companies including Air France, Goodrich, EADS and Rolls-Royce. 
Mr Enders praised Mr Schulz’s “broad international experience in the industry”, adding he was “the right pick to join Airbus at a critical juncture”.
Airbus faces a challenging few years. It is the subject of an international investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption to win contracts. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and its French equivalent the Parquet National Financier (PNF) are examining the claims, which Airbus self-reported to regulators.
In January Rolls-Royce paid a record ?671m fine to settle international bribery and corruption claims in an investigation led by the SFO.
Rolls-Royce said until a permanent successor is found for Mr Schulz, Chris Young, currently direct of civil aerospace programmes, will take on immediate responsibility for commercial and strategic matters within civil aerospace.
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