Airbus CEO has board’s ‘confidence’ midst sales fraud scandal
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire confirmed that Airbus CEO Tom Enders has the Airbus Board of Directors ‘confidence’, Reuters reports. The assurance comes following the recently revealed inaccuracies in transactions – this time with the US government, and the public plea from the French government for a more ‘transparent’ Airbus.
Four European countries have ongoing fraud investigations into Airbus Group, but there could be more trouble. On October 31, 2017, Airbus admitted finding evidence of possible violations in the reports filled in compliance with US arms export regulations.
Following the news, the French government made a public announcement asking Airbus for transparency. "The French government requests transparency, if there is a doubt, it must be removed," said the government’s spokesperson Christophe Castaner, as quoted by the French news outlet Le Figaro. “In any company in which France is a shareholder, this is a requirement of principle and no one should derogate from this," he added.
France holds an 11% share in Airbus. It is also one of four European countries, together with Germany, Austria and UK, which have launched an investigation into corruption allegations.
This is the second time in the past month Airbus CEO had the Board’s support. In the middle of October 2017, Airbus Board Chairman Dennis Ranque confirmed the board has "full trust and confidence" in Enders and his implemented changes such as the compliance with ongoing probes program, according to the Market Watch.
Airbus, in turn, had also made it public that it is conducting its own internal investigation in the hope of being offered a deal by UK prosecutors as a reward for co-operation and sharing results with investigators. Germany’s Economy Ministry also confirmed that the company is “fully cooperating with the authorities.”
In June 2017, Airbus CEO Tom Enders said at a meeting with the company’s managers in France: “Leave this company rather than make us take you out of the company. Because we‘re in a deadly serious situation, dear colleagues.” Enders himself sees no reason to resign over ongoing corruption investigations, but would be ready to do so if needed, he told Handelsblatt.
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