By S.L. Fuller | February 14, 2018
Airbus Helicopters is replacing its experienced, French, helicopter CEO with another experienced, French, helicopter CEO. The company announced Wednesday Guillaume Faury’s successor is Bruno Even, CEO of Safran Helicopter Engines.
Even is set to assume his duties at Airbus April 1. But Faury assumes his new position as president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft next week.
“I am very pleased that we could attract an experienced executive with Bruno Even to join Airbus,” said Airbus CEO Tom Enders, whom Even would report to. “Bruno has climbed the management ranks at Safran at a very young age. His broad background of the helicopter business and his strong customer focus combined with program and engineering expertise, make Bruno the ideal candidate to succeed Guillaume Faury and to continue our successful improvement journey in a very demanding business environment.”
Airbus announced in December 2017 that Enders would not seek further mandate beyond April 2019. President for Commercial Aircraft Frabrice Brégier was assumed to be his successor, reports said. But Brégier is also leaving the company, which left the Commercial Aircraft post open for Faury.
The month before those announcements rolled out, Airbus CTO Paul Eremenko, founder of the company’s A3 business, exited the company to take up a new post as SVP and CTO of United Technologies Corp.
Personnel changes come at a time when Airbus as a whole is changing. Faury said during a press briefing in January that the helicopter division had been going through a “quiet revolution” as part of a “transformation plan” during the past few years.
Faury said during the briefing that had messages to pass onto his successor; he claimed at the time he was unaware of who that successor would be. Those included continued exploration of digital and industrial transformation, as well as new markets, new technologies.
"I will tell him that you are coming on board a fantastic company, at a historic and exciting moment for our industry,” Faury said. “I hope you will enjoy as much as I have.”
Even should find that some of his philosophies that he led with at Safran can transfer to Airbus. R&WI spoke to Even one year ago, asking what he and the company learned from 2016 and where the company might head in the future.
“We are preparing the future with the factory of the future, with the line of the future for production but also the factory of the future for [maintenance, repair and overhaul],” Even said.
“Our strategy has four pillars,” he said, when asked about facing challenges in 2017. “The first pillar is to diversify our customer portfolio. The second is to be preferred partner in growth countries. In particular, we have in mind India, Russia and China. The third pillar is built around innovation. The fourth pillar is around customer relationship. Clearly, the customer is at the core of our strategy.”
Even has been with Turbomeca, now Safran Helicopter Engines, since 1999. He held a several positions, but left in 2013 to assume a role as CEO of Safran Electronics & Defense (previously called Sagem). He returned to the helicopter engines business in June 2015 as CEO.