Airbus executives get swept away by a corruption investigation

(The Economist, Singapore, 8 February 2018) A management shake-out may reawaken national rivalries at the European aerospace giant. “The success of Airbus is intimately linked to the success of John [Leahy],” says Eric Schulz, successor to John Leahy, who has been chief salesman for the planemaker since 1994. Mr Leahy’s aggressive strategy to gain orders expanded Airbus’s market share for civil jets from 18% in 1994 to over 50%. But this year’s Singapore Airshow, which began on February 6th, will be Mr Leahy’s last before retirement. Staff turnover does not stop there. In December the firm said Tom Enders, its German-born chief executive, would step down in 2019; his French second-in-command, Fabrice Brégier, will leave this month. These changes follow the news that several countries, including Britain, France and America, are investigating allegations that in the past Airbus bribed officials to win contracts. That created divisions between French and German executives over how to respond.