December 12, 2017 / 7:20 PM / a year ago

Airbus CEO Enders declines comment on role beyond 2019

FILE PHOTO - Airbus Group Chief Executive Tom Enders speaks during a news conference on the aerospace group's annual results, in London, Britain February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders declined comment on Tuesday on a report that he would not seek a fresh mandate when his contract expires in 2019.

Le Figaro newspaper reported on its website that Enders had told the office of French President Emmanuel Macron that he would not seek a third mandate as head of Europe’s largest aerospace group.

A regular board meeting scheduled for Thursday will take note of the decision, the paper reported.

“Tom informed the Elysee (presidential palace) very recently he would not seek a third mandate,” a source cited by Le Figaro said.

Industry sources have said it is widely assumed that Enders would not seek a third mandate, when his current mandate expires in May 2019.

Responding to the report, Enders said via his spokesman: “The decision about my future as CEO of Airbus is not taken by the French press or the French government or any government. It is taken either by the board ... or by me and ideally in consensus between the board of directors and me. My current mandate runs until April 2019 and this is the timeframe I work against.”

France owns 11 percent of Airbus (AIR.PA) but its once considerable powers to hire and fire top executives were curtailed in a corporate reorganisation in 2013.

In April, Enders said he would consider seeking a new term beyond 2019 and that he was not thinking about retiring.

He has been under mounting media pressure over his handling of an internal compliance campaign, which has triggered corruption investigations in France and Britain, as well as a separate corruption investigation in Austria.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Tim Hepher; Editing by John Irish and James Dalgleish

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