Airbus announced the departure of several senior executives, including the head of its defense branch, triggering a cascade of replacement. 

Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus Defence and Space since 2016, will be replaced by Michael Schoellhorn, current Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Airbus. 

Alberto Gutiérrez, who takes over the place of Schoellhorn, will be succeeded as Director of Military Aircraft by Jean-Brice Dumont, currently Head of Engineering at Airbus. 

Dumont’s position will be taken over by Sabine Klauke, who will also assume the role of Chief Technical Officer (CTO) following the departure of Grazia Vittadini. Klauke’s replacement has yet to be nominated.

The new executives will take over the delicate task of cooperating with the authorities of Germany, France, and Spain, and the other manufacturers involved in the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), a joint program to develop a system of systems around a sixth-generation fighter jet. Since the beginning of 2021, negotiations around the continuation of the program have been stormy.

Heard by the French Senate regarding the FCAS program, the heads of Airbus said a plan B was not realistic and urged Dassault to find an agreement.

Airbus also kickstarted research around the decarbonization of the aviation industry, and the development of a hydrogen-powered aircraft.

Determined to win the race to a “zero-emission aircraft” by 2035, Airbus unveiled three hydrogen-powered concepts the company is currently working on.