Airbus SAS said Production Chief Gerald Weber will leave after less than four years at the aircraft manufacturer, vacating his position as the company struggles to keep its new A350 wide-body jet on schedule.
Airbus, based in Toulouse, has already identified a manager from outside the company and will announce the appointment at the start of next year, the company said in a statement today. Weber, 61, said “it is time for me to move on.” Weber leaves the company at the end of March, 2011.
The departure of Weber, an engineer and former manager in the automotive industry, coincides with Airbus falling behind on its production schedule of the A350, an aircraft made up largely from composite materials that will compete with Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner. Airbus said on November 12 that first delivery of the long-range aircraft may slip into the latter part of 2013.
“I am looking forward to introducing my successor to the international Airbus manufacturing team, our fascinating products and our great challenges ahead,” Weber said in a statement.
Weber, who owns a pilot license, joined Airbus in April 2007 after working at companies including Daimler AG. The manager, who splits his work time between Hamburg, Toulouse and regional production centers in Germany, France and Spain, said he’s taken workers to study production at factories of Porsche AG and Volkswagen AG to improve efficiency and lean production.
Weber is one of ten managers that make up the Airbus executive committee around Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders, who said in the statement that “we will miss his engineering creativity, his exemplary dedication to Airbus and his well- dosed Swabian stubbornness.”