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BoomBoom
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Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:39 am

Quote:
The news is a blow to EADS Co-CEO Noel Forgeard, who in 2000 oversaw the launch of the A380 as the head of Airbus. On a conference call Wednesday with analysts, Mr. Forgeard deflected suggestions that the setbacks could cost him his job.

"We have now to find the right ways forward rather than finger pointing the responsibilities of the past," Mr. Forgeard said. "We are working on managerial measures inside Airbus."

The problems with the A380, coupled with the need for Airbus to redesign its A350 model under criticism from customers, is not only exposing execution flaws, but also strategic ones, investors said.

"EADS made a strategic error by opting for a jumbo sized jet rather than a fuel efficient model, especially if the price of oil increases further," said Matthieu Raimbault of French brokerage Viel Tradition. "It's been a while since Airbus has given ground to Boeing -- even if [Airbus] has a lot of orders for its A380, they could be canceled."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1150...479926.html?mod=home_whats_news_us

How magnanimous of him to say, we should not point fingers, since all the fingers are pointing at him.
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GoAibusGo
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:53 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Thread starter):
A350 model under criticism from customers,

These 'costumers' should have never ordered the A350, instead order the 787. That will be a clear enough message to Airbus.

Same with the A380, it seems this plane is going nowhere. No orders now and especially after this latest delay no orders later, I am afraid.
 
Slarty
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:54 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Thread starter):
... not only exposing execution flaws, but also strategic ones ...

Sounds like more than one head should roll ... It certainly appears that the A380 program has consumed so many resources (financial, managerial, technical, partner), that it has caused AB to implement impotent strategies for the higher-volume aspect of their future business.
 
WINGS
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:59 am

Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Well BoomBoom, Ill have to agree with you on this one. Good old Noel has proved to be a very reliable resource for Airbus, although he recently has caused many issues within Airbus/Eads which should have been resolved at an earlier stage.

I would also place the blame on all at managerial level.

Regards,
Wings
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leelaw
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:59 am

Someone will have to "walk the plank," perhaps Mr. Champion should put his affairs in order?
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redflyer
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:46 am

Firing Mr. Forgeard would be a symbolic gesture, at best. He's a political animal as much as he is a business manager. He's served Airbus and EADS well by not only marketing the right products but also keeping an eye on the political stakes involved. And while he may have pushed the company to develop the A380, he is not responsible for the delays that it is currently experiencing nor is he responsible for the mis-steps involved with the A350. Those issues are a result of poor project management (A380) and poor market analysis and conclusions (A380, A350). I think he has served Airbus well. After all, it was under his leadership that the company took the lead from Boeing. Nevertheless, it may be time for him -- and others -- to go.

I'm hoping Gustav Humbert is given more power from a decision-making standpoint. Call it a stereotypical viewpoint, but I think a German, and an engineer at that, would be a very formidable leader and just what Airbus needs right now to put all these recent issues behind it.
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FCKC
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:00 am

WINGS

Totally agree with what you wrote.

Despite N Forgeard has highly helped Airbus to be No 1 , i rather prefer the G Humbert style.No mediatic , and probably he's making some "cleaner" inside Airbus , and probably is like people liking Airbus would like this giant manufacturer comes again at the stage it was before the A380 delay story and the chaos A350 story.
N Forgeard was a too much "political" chief , and probably was too close to his own situation.Do not forget he is one close friend of J Chirac.......
Hope when the time will come to launch a sucessor to the A32X family , all will go easier , without bad news every week !!!!!!!!!!
If G Humbert brings some more serenity at Airbus , he will have done already a great job !!!!!!!!
I would like to be inside the intern discussions , people should have between them at Airbus.............probably not sad.............
 
n1786b
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:06 am

Be interesting to see if anybody picks up on the fact that on April 15th he sold 2.5 million dollars worth of stock. Not only did he sell, but his three kids, Jean-Paul Gut and François Auque all sold shares between April 10th and 17th.

EADS has gone on record saying that Forgeard had not been informed of the A380 delivery problems at the time of the sale.

Yeah, right...

-n1786b

In French:

http://permanent.nouvelobs.com/economie/20060614.FAP2965.html?1833
 
Lumberton
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:22 am

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 4):
Someone will have to "walk the plank," perhaps Mr. Champion should put his affairs in order?

I'm with you here. Champion is not top level management, but he is the A380 project manager. Senior enough so that Airbus can make a public face saving gesture. Ironic, because at one time I would have thought Mr. Champion was being groomed for the Airbus #1 job. If Airbus does can him, I hope Boeing would be smart enough to hire him 5 minutes later. He's one smart cookie....
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Devilfish
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:23 am

Quoting N1786b (Reply 7):

Yeah, right...

In the other thread, it was mentioned that EADS is no Enron.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:37 am

Neither Airbus nor EADS is Enron, in my view. Enron is a fairly unique case. Enron, by the way, even at its peak, seemed to rely on paper assets -- as I understand it, it was an arbitrageur of energy demands and requirements.^1 I think that it basically traded energy futures and options, but that's from my general impression.

Both EADS and Airbus are substantial companies with actual physical assets (leveraged or not) that were built from the ground up. And Airbus does retain a substantial order list.

I don't think that Airbus and Enron are comparable in any reasonable analysis, but that's just an opinion.

______________________________
1. As I recall, some people were asking, even at Enron's peak, just what exactly Enron was doing that justified its (alleged) profits.

[Edited 2006-06-15 00:39:37]
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Picard
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:55 am

Quoting GoAibusGo (Reply 1):
Quoting BoomBoom (Thread starter):
A350 model under criticism from customers,

These 'costumers' should have never ordered the A350, instead order the 787. That will be a clear enough message to Airbus.

Same with the A380, it seems this plane is going nowhere. No orders now and especially after this latest delay no orders later, I am afraid.

Please the airlines have been waiting for the A380 to enter service to see how it performs before ordering, ok this latest delay isn't doing this programme any favours but when this aircraft EIS and performs to its promises there will be many more orders.

Going nowhere? What planet are you on? The aircraft is well on the way to be certificated and will prove itself when SQ gets its plane.
 
jacobin777
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:59 am

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 5):

I'm hoping Gustav Humbert is given more power from a decision-making standpoint. Call it a stereotypical viewpoint, but I think a German, and an engineer at that, would be a very formidable leader and just what Airbus needs right now to put all these recent issues behind it.



Quoting FCKC (Reply 6):
Despite N Forgeard has highly helped Airbus to be No 1 , i rather prefer the G Humbert style.No mediatic , and probably he's making some "cleaner" inside Airbus , and probably is like people liking Airbus would like this giant manufacturer comes again at the stage it was before the A380 delay story and the chaos A350 story.

Gosh, when I make the same comment (about Gustav will do a good job at Airbus and Forgeard should be fired), I'm labeled and "Airbus Basher"...

Forgeard might have been good for Airbus back in the 1990's, but like an aged sports-superstar, his time has come....
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gigneil
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:04 am

Quoting N1786b (Reply 7):
Be interesting to see if anybody picks up on the fact that on April 15th he sold 2.5 million dollars worth of stock. Not only did he sell, but his three kids, Jean-Paul Gut and Fran�ois Auque all sold shares between April 10th and 17th.

People in top spots at major companies, and their beneficiaries, sell stock on a schedule set by their attorneys. They do not EVER make decisions to sell suddenly.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 8):
Champion is not top level management, but he is the A380 project manager

Charles Champion is a Senior VP, and solely responsible for the A380.

I think that makes perfectly good sense to me.

N
 
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Asturias
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:49 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 12):
Gosh, when I make the same comment (about Gustav will do a good job at Airbus and Forgeard should be fired), I'm labeled and "Airbus Basher"...

Forgeard might have been good for Airbus back in the 1990's, but like an aged sports-superstar, his time has come....

I am in agreement with you here. Forgeard did a good job at Airbus in the 90s, but his time has come. He may be co-heading EADS now, but he has been so long at Airbus that he likely has his fingers still in that operation, directly or indirectly.

His time has come. There is management issue at Airbus now and judging by the severity of it, I'd say that it won't be resolved for another year or two. Airbus needs to be on its toes and I think Forgeard is more a hindrance than help in management restructure, renewal and revigoration at Airbus.

So, in short: Yes, Forgeard should be let go at this moment in time. It is the best for Airbus in the long term. The A380 will get through its teething problems in production I am sure and I hope it does well in operation, but the new management at Airbus with Humbert and whoever succeeds Noël will be steering the development and production of the A350/A370, whatever those models will turn out to be exactly. My guess is that there is a distinct possibility that the A350/A370 project will be delayed even further, while restructioring occurs.. just maybe. Depends on what the management thinks the company is capable of at this moment.

Time will tell and I for one look forward to see a sharp and cutting edge Airbus once again  Smile

cheers

Asturias
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flydreamliner
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:07 am

Not only should he be fired, he actually probably will be. And deservedly so at that.
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:03 am

Both Noel Forgeard and Charles Champion with EADS?
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mariner
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:50 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 12):
(about Gustav will do a good job at Airbus

I'm glad you have so much faith in him. So far, Herr Humbert has seemed incapable of making a decision.

Sure, he inherited a bunch of stuff from his predecessor, but a tough CEO would not have allowed the "chaos" surrounding the A350 to drag on like this.

A corporate/political goulash like Airbus might need a dictator, not an appeaser.

mariner
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Shenzhen
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:56 am

During the Boeing problems in the late 90s, they handed Woodards head to the share holders (although I could have retired on his departure package). This didn't seem to help much, as he was the guy that sold all the airplanes, and look what happened five years down the road. Condit ultimately got the axe, which shortly thereafter, we have seen a resurgent Boeing.

All in all, if it was Foregards fault, he should fall on the sword.

Cheers...
 
jacobin777
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:59 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 17):

I'm glad you have so much faith in him. So far, Herr Humbert has seemed incapable of making a decision.

Sure, he inherited a bunch of stuff from his predecessor, but a tough CEO would not have allowed the "chaos" surrounding the A350 to drag on like this.

A corporate/political goulash like Airbus might need a dictator, not an appeaser.

Maybe he wasn't given the ability/powers to deal with the "chaos", especially given the precarious situation he inherited (as you mentioned above)

This situation couldn't be solved quickly, especially given how Airbus is setup/governed...I hope to see him given more authority to run the ship how he deems reasonable...


of interest...

"I am extremely sorry, EADS co-chief executive officer Noel Forgeard said during a conference call. I built my entire industrial career on building confidence with shareholders. This announcement comes as a big blow."

nice to see some humility back (is it a "face-saving" gesture, or he means it in earnest, I don't know, but at least he is showing some humility)

http://www.globeinvestor.com/servlet...GAM.20060614.wairbuss0614/GIStory/


cheers
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nudelhirsch
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:59 am

Even if they made mistakes, firing the project manager and a top leader who was deeply involved in the project at this critical stage would be a bad choice.

The American corporate world believes deeply in firing as a solution to problems, and it could well be a good choice for Airbus to let them go, but they can deal with it once the 380 is being delivered. Now there is more important stuff to deal with than firings and blamings. They have problems to solve.
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atmx2000
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:02 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 17):
I'm glad you have so much faith in him. So far, Herr Humbert has seemed incapable of making a decision.

Sure, he inherited a bunch of stuff from his predecessor, but a tough CEO would not have allowed the "chaos" surrounding the A350 to drag on like this.

With 80% of Airbus owned by EADS, he may not really have enough control over the big decisions.

From the his sniping at Forgeard, I think EADS has a great say in what goes on at Airbus.
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mariner
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:10 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 21):
With 80% of Airbus owned by EADS, he may not really have enough control over the big decisions.

Many large corporations are majority owned by other, larger corporations.

Yet somehow, the CEO's of those majority owned corporations manage to get things done.

mariner
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jacobin777
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:11 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 22):

Many large corporations are majority owned by other, larger corporations.

Yet somehow, the CEO's of those majority owned corporations manage to get things done.

...and they are given the autonomy of making independent decisions...something which I don't think I can say of the EADS-Airbus combination...
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nudelhirsch
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:12 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 21):
With 80% of Airbus owned by EADS, he may not really have enough control over the big decisions.

From the his sniping at Forgeard, I think EADS has a great say in what goes on at Airbus.

And Boeing is split different divisions as well. There is the top management, the civil, mlitary, Connexion... EADS is no different, just more internationally held and run and that was a successful way of doing that.
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mariner
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:16 pm

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 23):
...and they are given the autonomy of making independent decisions...something which I don't think I can say of the EADS-Airbus combination...

Well, they are all responsible to their board. Any CEO is, to his board. Some boards are more activist than others.

But it would seem M. Forgeard did have the power, because the thread is blaming him for everything.

But Herr Humbert does not have the power, so we're letting him off the hook?

Is that how it works?

Okay.

mariner
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:23 pm

Quoting Nudelhirsch (Reply 24):
And Boeing is split different divisions as well. There is the top management, the civil, mlitary, Connexion... EADS is no different, just more internationally held and run and that was a successful way of doing that.

There is a real difference between Boeing, on one hand, and the EADS-BAE-Airbus relationship, on the other. EADS and BAE are each separate corporations that are independent owners of Airbus. Everything else aside, what is advantageous for EADS may not necessarily be advantageous for BAE, although both of them share a common interest in Airbus. By contrast, Boeing is a single corporation owned by a single group of stakeholders (divided into various classes (including, e.g., different classes of stock and bonds and divided between stockholders, bondholders, and lenders) as with any other large corporation) that have a single interest in the success of Boeing. The commercial airliner division of Boeing, for example, does not have any independent ability to exist, nor are there any independent stakeholders that own interests in that division that do not own shares in other divisions of Boeing, for the reason that there doesn't exist shares in divisions of Boeing -- there exists only shares of Boeing as a whole. Boeing's various divisions cannot operate as independent entities and are not answerable to a different set of shareholders the way that EADS and BAE are each answerable to theirs.

Moreover, stakeholders in EADS are not the same as stakeholders in BAE, although there may be some overlap.

Without claiming that there could be a conflict of interest between EADS and BAE, nevertheless, the dispute that has arisen between BAE and EADS as to the announcement of lowered income that some claimed served to depress stock prices at a time when BAE was attempting to sell its minority interest shows that there are significant structural elements in the EADS-BAE-Airbus arrangement that are entirely absent in Boeing. It would be literally impossible for divisions within Boeing to attempt any financial positioning in the manner some have accused has occurred between EADS and BAE over Airbus.

It seems very unpersuasive to compare the various divisions of within Boeing to the joint ownership arrangement between EADS and BAE.

It is only a slight extension of the above, therefore, to posit structural differences or issues that may be revealed in contests between the management of Airbus, on the one hand, and of its majority owner, EADS.

One should consider that, as far as I can determine, Airbus is a third legal entity with approximately the same legal standing as either of its parents, particularly where there may be dispute between the latter two. Even without conflictual issues, the relationship of interests between Airbus and either of its owners is not comparable to the relationship of interests between any division of Boeing and Boeing itself.

[Edited 2006-06-15 05:51:15]
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baron95
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:30 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 17):
So far, Herr Humbert has seemed incapable of making a decision.

Sure, he inherited a bunch of stuff from his predecessor, but a tough CEO would not have allowed the "chaos" surrounding the A350 to drag on like this.

Or allowed his subordinate Leahy to run his mouth in the press saying that "... the A350 Chaos has gone on for too long...."

For crying out loud, the guy has his customers and his own top sales guy sending messages to him through the media.

That is not a CEO.
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nudelhirsch
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:37 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 26):
Without claiming that there could be a conflict of interest between EADS and BAE, nevertheless, the dispute that has arisen between BAE and EADS as to the announcement of lowered income that some claimed served to depress stock prices at a time when BAE was attempting to sell its minority interest shows that there are structural elements in the EADS-BAE-Airbus arrangement that is entirely absent in Boeing. It would be literally impossible for divisions within Boeing to attempt any financial posturing in the manner some have accused has occurred between EADS and BAE over Airbus.

Well, Airbus is slightly more complicated, but it is not much. EADS and BAE are the shareholders of Airbus, they run the show together. EADS is owned by a few European companies, including Daimler Chrysler (former DASA). BAE is not incorporated in EADS and they can bail out by selling their share, which they are trying, so actually the Airbus ownership is quite simple as BAE and EADS run the show, the crowd of shareholders can only influence EADS, not Airbus directly. Quite a good constellation.
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jacobin777
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:38 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 25):
Well, they are all responsible to their board. Any CEO is, to his board. Some boards are more activist than others.

But it would seem M. Forgeard did have the power, because the thread is blaming him for everything.

But Herr Humbert does not have the power, so we're letting him off the hook?

Is that how it works?

Okay.

mariner

How can Gustav Humbert be on the hook when he really didn't have anything to do with this mess in the first place....? He was neither at the helm when the A380 decision took place, nor was he at the A350 decision took place...

Heck, even Forgeard is taking responsibilty for this mess (according to my link above), certainly the A380 mess..

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 27):

Or allowed his subordinate Leahy to run his mouth in the press saying that "... the A350 Chaos has gone on for too long...."

Seems as if Airbus has given Leahy too much autonomy...he's on too many times..but he's still a good team-player, an "aged veteran" who I would still like to have on my team, as he still gets things done...

a CEO can't change/fix so many things instantly, especially something as convoluted as the EADS/Airbus situation..

[Edited 2006-06-15 05:44:25]
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mariner
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:39 pm

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 27):
Or allowed his subordinate Leahy to run his mouth in the press saying that "... the A350 Chaos has gone on for too long...."

People justified Mr. Udvar-Hazy washing dirty linen in public because "perhaps no one at Airbus had listened".

So Mr. Leahy might be doing the same thing, for the same reason. And certainly, there is confusion (maybe chaos) around the A350 program

However, you are right. A CEO with big iron ones would have sacked Mr. Leahy instantly - even if Mr. Leahy is right.

So perhaps you are right about Herr Humbert as a CEO.

mariner
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DfwRevolution
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:40 pm

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 18):
All in all, if it was Foregards fault, he should fall on the sword.

You don't need one person for a company to fall apart, and you don't need one person to get a company back on track. IMO, the need for an "all-star" CEO is highly over-rated.

WINGS is exactly right in reply 3, these companies are too big and have too much upper, middle, and lower management to just turn on a dime. If you want to pass blame on management, you can pass it all day.

The real problem is vision, and that doesn't take a CEO. Airbus started the A380 with no plan to sustain momentum into a new product, in fact, the A380 was the last goal of all those TA studies that resulted in the A320 and A330/A340. The roadmap ended with the A380.

Boeing's got a roadmap, and it's why they are now steamrolling. You can describe Boeing's startegy on a napkin, and it has catapulted them back on top. It's a simple matter of consolidating to a highly streamlined product family and to continuely update technology. That works

Whether or not Airbus can accomplish the same is highly debateable IMO. They have invested so much the A380 that they don't have the options Boeing had in 2000-2002. Despite the 747-X and Sonic Cruiser, Boeing never launched and never committed a fraction of the resources Airbus has spent.

Quoting Picard (Reply 11):
Going nowhere? What planet are you on? The aircraft is well on the way to be certificated and will prove itself when SQ gets its plane.

You must be joking. For a product on the verge of commercial introduction, the lack of momentum within the A380 program would depress a puppy.

Any good news is immediatly overshadowed by more bad news, and customers are highly discontented. Airbus will now defer nearly $2.5 billion dollars in earnings due to another production slip-up with the A380. The last order was a year ago for an Indian LCC carrier who ordered four units.

Do you call that going somewhere?

Quoting Mariner (Reply 17):
A corporate/political goulash like Airbus might need a dictator, not an appeaser.

I agree completely. It doesn't have to be the Michael Jordan of corperate combacks, but someone with a concise plan for re-establishing a solid product family is a must.

John Leahy? Despite his outward Baghdad Bobing, he apparently was ahead of the curve within Airbus executives in realizing the short-comings of the A330-Lite and later A350. He knows how to get things done, and he is passionate about what he does.

Then again, Airbus may just need some entirely fresh blood...
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mariner
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:42 pm

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 29):
He was neither at the helm when the A380 decision took place, nor was he at the A350 decision took place...

When did I say that Herr Humbert had anything to do with the A380 situation?

My specific reference was to the A350.

mariner
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jacobin777
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:47 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 32):

My specific reference was to the A350.

to which I responded he wasn't in charge of the A350 at the time either...reading the tiff-taff between Forgeard and Humbert recently, it certainly seemed that Forgeard was still calling a lot of the shots over at Airbus....

I think Humbert has to run Airbus the way he sees fit for a couple of years before one can truly be able to assess his accomplishments/failures as a CEO/President....
"Up the Irons!"
 
mham001
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:48 pm

Quoting N1786b (Reply 7):



Quoting N1786b (Reply 7):
Be interesting to see if anybody picks up on the fact that on April 15th he sold 2.5 million dollars worth of stock. Not only did he sell, but his three kids, Jean-Paul Gut and Fran�ois Auque all sold shares between April 10th and 17th.

EADS has gone on record saying that Forgeard had not been informed of the A380 delivery problems at the time of the sale.

I'm wondering if there is not a huge scandal brewing. Not only Foregard, but Daimler and Lagardere also sold huge holdings. meanwhile, it was reported here that wing deliveries have been stopped for some time. If they were operating under US law, there'd be a huge investigation already.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:48 pm

Quoting Nudelhirsch (Reply 28):
Well, Airbus is slightly more complicated, but it is not much. EADS and BAE are the shareholders of Airbus, they run the show together. EADS is owned by a few European companies, including Daimler Chrysler (former DASA). BAE is not incorporated in EADS and they can bail out by selling their share, which they are trying, so actually the Airbus ownership is quite simple as BAE and EADS run the show, the crowd of shareholders can only influence EADS, not Airbus directly. Quite a good constellation.

BAE is not only not incorporated in EADS, it's a completely separate entity comparable to EADS.

As I understand it, formally speaking, Airbus SAS is the equivalent of what would occur if, tomorrow, Boeing and Lockheed Martin established a third corporation (hypothetically named "Boeing Lockheed Consolidated Systems, Inc.", or what have you) in which (for example) Boeing owns an 80% interest and Lockheed Martin owns the remaining 20%. The exact distribution of percentages between the two is irrelevant; what is relevant for the purposes of this hypothetical is to show that EADS and BAE are independent from each other in the same way that Boeing and Lockheed Martin are and would remain independent.

(Interestingly, Boeing and Lockheed Martin in fact operate a joint venture known as the United Launch Alliance, but that's an aside.)

Further, it seems fairly obvious that Airbus also retains a separate legal identity even though it is owned by two other corporations. Airbus is not a wholly owned subsidiary of either EADS or BAE, so it must retain a separate legal existence unless either EADS or BAE were wholly owned by the other; it seems that it could not be otherwise.

[Edited 2006-06-15 06:04:27]
What's fair is fair.
 
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mariner
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:55 pm

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 33):
to which I responded he wasn't in charge of the A350 at the time either.

It is Herr Humbert in charge of the potential rethink.

It is Herr Humbert who said "Airbus listens to its customers" when announcing that potential rethink.

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 33):
reading the tiff-taff between Forgeard and Humbert recently, it certainly seemed that Forgeard was still calling a lot of the shots over at Airbus....

And a strong CEO stops that, stone cold dead. To assume that you can "manage" the interference of a previous CEO is a sure sign of an appeaser, a weak CEO.

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 33):
I think Humbert has to run Airbus the way he sees fit for a couple of years before one can truly be able to assess his accomplishments/failures as a CEO/President....

Surely. But the omens and portents, as I read them, are far from encouraging.

In my book, Mr. Leahy has it spot on right.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
jacobin777
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:55 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 36):

It is Herr Humbert in charge of the potential rethink.

It is Herr Humbert who said "Airbus listens to its customers" when announcing that potential rethink.

Correct, but this is a recent scenerio, and as I've been incessantly stating, its very difficult, if not impossible to change the situation this large with so many variables which he inherited...I believe this scenerio was "thrown on Humbert's lap"...

Quoting Mariner (Reply 36):

And a strong CEO stops that, stone cold dead. To assume that you can "manage" the interference of a previous CEO is a sure sign of an appeaser, a weak CEO.



Quoting Mariner (Reply 36):
Surely. But the omens and portents, as I read them, are far from encouraging.

Thats highly subjective...after all, Forgeard is Gustav's boss....so unless the boss gives his employee some autonomy, how can the boss of the subsidiary company do things the way he wants and make majour decisions the way he sees fit?

Quoting Mariner (Reply 36):

In my book, Mr. Leahy has it spot on right.

I guess we agree on one thing..

cheers..
"Up the Irons!"
 
EssentialPowr
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:06 pm

Yes.

Airbus has always patterned itself as replacing Boeing...they numbered their a/c using the same scheme, finally changed their accounting to deliveries vs orders, got hung up in building the world's largest pax airliner for that sake (remember the AW&ST adds with the lower deck gyms and shopping malls) and are now in a position of delivering the A380 vs developing the A350 replacement (a total disaster - I was at Paris 2005, when Airbus announced the A350 would surpass the 787). I have given Airbus 10 years, tops.

BTW - I think their technology, now, is excellent and note that no one that flys an Airbus has anything bad to say about it. They experienced development issues, and crashes, but build a great a/c. They should have quit following, and forged their own path.
 
dhefty
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:13 pm

Forgeard to Ride the Guillotine?

Thanks BoomBoom!

Two pages on the same subject? Blasphemy!

One of the all-time great days on a.net.
 
airfrnt
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:50 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 25):
Well, they are all responsible to their board. Any CEO is, to his board. Some boards are more activist than others.

But it would seem M. Forgeard did have the power, because the thread is blaming him for everything.

But Herr Humbert does not have the power, so we're letting him off the hook?

Is that how it works?

Okay.

mariner

The CEO should be responsible to the board. The Board is evenly split between Germany and France with a procedure for outside negotiation. Wacky structure and bad governence.

It's hard to keep just the visible schims that we see strait. There is Mr. Forgeard and Mr. Leahy in one corner, Herr Humbert in another corner, plus the current head of Airbus.

What's it like behind the scenes?

Quoting Mariner (Reply 30):
People justified Mr. Udvar-Hazy washing dirty linen in public because "perhaps no one at Airbus had listened".

No, I pointed out then that I believed every word coming from Mr. Udvar-Hazy's mouth as coming from Mr. Leahy. It could either play into one of the schisims above, or it could honestly be that Mr. Leahy believes a new plane is needed. Airbus put Mr. Leahy on the map, and he is one of the most famous sales persons in the world because of it.

Quoting Mariner (Reply 30):

However, you are right. A CEO with big iron ones would have sacked Mr. Leahy instantly - even if Mr. Leahy is right.

I don't think the CEO at Airbus can, not with Mr. Leahy's connections to French upper EADS management. (heh. Ironic... A French Executive protecting a American executive).
 
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mariner
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:22 pm

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 37):
.I believe this scenerio was "thrown on Humbert's lap"...

The rethink was not dumped in his lap. Or, if it was, it is his job to deal with it.

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 37):
.so unless the boss gives his employee some autonomy, how can the boss of the subsidiary company do things the way he wants and make majour decisions the way he sees fit?

Power in the corporate sense, is seldom "given". Power is almost always taken.

If Herr Humbert has not been granted the power, by his board, to take critical decisions, then why did he accept the job?

What is he doing there - making sure the machine runs smoothly? It is a definition of decadence - when the efficient running of the machine becomes more important than the function the machine was intended to do.

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 40):
What's it like behind the scenes?

No idea, don't care. "Chaos" has been allowed to develop - in public. I can't imagine that the boards of Airbus and EADS want that.

If they do, then the organization deserves to fail.

Someone has to take charge. Someone has to restore order. Someone has to say "this is what is happening, deal with it."

Someone has to tell Mr. Udvar-Hazy that if he wants supply at decent prices from Airbus, he should button his lip.

Someone should tell Mr. Leahy who he is working for.

Someone has to tell M. Forgeard to butt out.

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 40):
No, I pointed out then that I believed every word coming from Mr. Udvar-Hazy's mouth as coming from Mr. Leahy.

You may have done so, but other people expressed it - to me, here - differently.

Nor do I necessarily agree that Mr. Leahy and Mr. Udvar-Hazy are in the same camp.

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 40):
I don't think the CEO at Airbus can, not with Mr. Leahy's connections to French upper EADS management.

I have nothing but respect for Mr. Leahy. It may be that he is the one person there who has a genuine vision.

However, he does not run Airbus. He is CCO, not COO. Clearly, he understands this, and his recent statement suggests - to me - that he just wants a decision, whatever that decision may be. Someone to take charge and tell him what aircraft he is to sell.

But if, as you seem to suggest, Mr. Leahy has more power than the CEO, then something is seriously wrong with the structure.

Now - that may be true. And if so, it needs to be fixed. Great organizations are run from the top down, not the bottom up.

It's the old Hollywood rule - everyone thinks they can direct. The truth is, they can't.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
leelaw
Posts: 4517
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:24 pm

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 40):
Quoting Mariner (Reply 30):
People justified Mr. Udvar-Hazy washing dirty linen in public because "perhaps no one at Airbus had listened".

No, I pointed out then that I believed every word coming from Mr. Udvar-Hazy's mouth as coming from Mr. Leahy. It could either play into one of the schisims above, or it could honestly be that Mr. Leahy believes a new plane is needed. Airbus put Mr. Leahy on the map, and he is one of the most famous sales persons in the world because of it.

The conventional wisdom that Mr. Udvar-Hazy was in fact speaking on behalf of Mr. Leahy at ISTAT in March, was seriously challenged by Mr. Leahy's own "end the choas" comments on Tuesday:

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer John Leahy said the "chaos" surrounding the A350 program is unprecedented and needs to be settled soon."Some outspoken customers of ours have created some confusion and the press has amplified that confusion," Leahy said at the Airbus technical press briefing in Toulouse. "I don't think it's ever happened before that an [aircraft] program has been launched and then there's been a public debate over the design." He said no decision has been made on a redesign but insisted the "uncertainty will end by the [Farnborough] air show" that begins July 17.

http://atwonline.com/news/story.html?storyID=5384

Someone needs to assert control over the free-for-all in the playground. Byzantine shenanigans in the boardroom/corporate suite make for interesting copy in the press, but it also makes the customers wary. SQ walked away from the table regarding the A350 yesterday, others will follow unless someone takes charge.
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knoxibus
Posts: 640
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:38 pm

I can tell you that my feelings right now are edging more towards hate and disgut rather than anything else.

I still appreciated only a short while ago what N. Forgeard and his team have done since 2000 at the head of Airbus, but the more I look at it, the more I have the feeling that everything was wrong.

- Launch of A340-500/-600: not a good aircraft as proven by the sales and customers feedback;

- Launch of the A318: sounds like a good aircraft, but wrong strategic decision, no much sales either;

- Launch of the A380: got to admit that fuel prices at that time and the business case were I believe good. But now, only due to a bad timing, BCA is taking the lead back as they waited a bit more before comitting to a new program, and that was good strategy.

Furthermore, the A380 program has gone AWOL now, everybody blaming everybody else (although it seems the German side is taking a heavier toll for not revealing earlier all the wiring issues). Please bear in mind that despite the fact that Gustav seems "better" than Noël, at that time (A380 development), he was the COO, in charge of industrial policy, and this is causing today the mess we know of.

- EADS: the fight for presidency. This has done a lot of damage and time was wasted instead of keeping Airbus on the roll. The A350 strategy was a big mistake and I have been saying that since day 1 (not playing the armchair CEO here, just common sense that's all).

I wish somebody would come and clean all this mess and start a new era for Airbus, I believe Boeing had the balls to do it and now it's paying off.

As I am finishing to write this post A380 MSN 4 F-WWDD is making a magnificient take-off for another test flight, what a coincidence....
No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
 
leelaw
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:58 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 41):
Someone has to tell Mr. Udvar-Hazy that if he wants supply at decent prices from Airbus, he should button his lip.

The fact remains that, for whatever reason, the "Genie" was released from the bottle at ISTAT, and the two most influential money-men in the business, Udvar-Hazy (ILFC) and Hubschman (GECAS) joined by a loud chorus of other "industry leaders," have declared the "old all-new A350" a dead-letter. The idea that somehow stubbornly sticking with a $5B concept that is largely discredited from the get-go is a sensible strategy, seems more pollyanish than visionary. It certainly won't put the "Genie" back in the bottle.
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astuteman
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:04 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 31):
The real problem is vision, and that doesn't take a CEO

WOW, how this sentence resonated with me after my experiences on Astute in the last 3 years.

Vision - you're so absolutely right - a clear (and thus communicable) strategic vision is absolutely essential if one is to "re-direct" organisations of this magnitude. It's a MUST-HAVE

Doesn't take a CEO? Sorry, Dfw, gotta passionately disagree with you there, from my own personal experiences.
That's absolutely what it does take - a CEO who takes ownership of (doesn't have to create it..), and fully champions, and drives with every fibre of his being, a clear strategic vision, is an absolute MUST-HAVE.
That in my book is LEADERSHIP (as distinctly opposed to MANAGEMENT).

The Astute programme of 5 years ago had some of the most competent "management" around, and no "leadership" (reports, stats, measures, we had em all, and they weren't tied to any collective vision). Today, (and a 3 year delay later) we have real "leadership", and half of the "competent" management (and the reports, stats, measures), have, rightly, gone the way of all flesh.
Today. we're motoring  Smile

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 31):
You can describe Boeing's startegy on a napkin

"a clear (and thus communicable) strategic vision"............ Smile

You're so right  checkmark , and hasn't it just revitalised Boeing CA SO much....

Regards
 
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mariner
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:20 pm

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 44):
It certainly won't put the "Genie" back in the bottle.

Did I say that it would? Did I say that it was intended to?

The past is the past, it cannot be changed. The future is a different - as yet unwritten - story.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
nudelhirsch
Posts: 1371
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:33 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 45):
Doesn't take a CEO? Sorry, Dfw, gotta passionately disagree with you there, from my own personal experiences.
That's absolutely what it does take - a CEO who takes ownership of (doesn't have to create it..), and fully champions, and drives with every fibre of his being, a clear strategic vision, is an absolute MUST-HAVE.
That in my book is LEADERSHIP (as distinctly opposed to MANAGEMENT).

O/T here:
This is not wrong, but not the key either, unfortunately textbooks d not talk about that, I got so annoyed in my leadership class... It does not only take a vision itself, that could be casted out by the board, it needs a leader who can promote that vision and motivate people to buy in. A vision is easy to set up, does not mean anyone would follow...

Back to topic, in this case, I do not see a leadership issue. If a project is running late, if tech trouble pops up, it is a management issue. That does not mean that someone screwed, sometimes things just happen, but I bet that pretty much all of the engineers have quite a vision for the 380 they bought into.
And that is why it could be stupid to fire Forgeard and Champion at this point. They are already familiar with the project, and finishing the project is priority now...
Putana da Seatbeltz!
 
leelaw
Posts: 4517
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 5:18 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 46):

You've been ruminating over this question for some months in a number of threads. It always comes down to "what Mr. Udvar-Hazy did at ISTAT wasn't quite cricket;" Airbus should stay-the-course with the "old all-new A350" because even he (U-H) said that it's "an excellent airplane," and bought sixteen of them? Mr. Leahy, after a long period of silence, may now be saying essentially the same thing. Apparently, some sort of "decisive utterance" about what's going to happen with the A350 will be forthcoming at (or by) Farnborough. Perhaps it will then be clear what "the vision" is and who's in control. In the meantime, SQ found all this so compelling that they voted against any "A350" with their feet yesterday. Interesting times indeed.

[Edited 2006-06-15 10:27:54]
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astuteman
Posts: 7158
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RE: Should Noel Forgeard Be Fired?

Thu Jun 15, 2006 6:04 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 45):
That's absolutely what it does take - a CEO who takes ownership of (doesn't have to create it..), and fully champions, and drives with every fibre of his being, a clear strategic vision, is an absolute MUST-HAVE.
That in my book is LEADERSHIP (as distinctly opposed to MANAGEMENT).



Quoting Nudelhirsch (Reply 47):
This is not wrong, but not the key either, unfortunately textbooks d not talk about that, I got so annoyed in my leadership class... It does not only take a vision itself, that could be casted out by the board, it needs a leader who can promote that vision and motivate people to buy in. A vision is easy to set up, does not mean anyone would follow...

Sorry, Nudelhirsch, you sound as if you think your comment is different to mine.
Quote:- " A CEO who takes ownership, champions, drives, a clear strategic vision......"
Why did I say that?
Because

Quoting Nudelhirsch (Reply 47):
it needs a leader who can promote that vision and motivate people to buy in.

The CEO, and his leadership behaviour, is crucial to that process  yes .

On-topic - what "clear strategic vision" has Forgeard, and his behaviour, championed, promoted, and caused people to buy into, during his time as CEO?
To be the builder of the world's biggest plane? What about the other 90% of the business?

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 31):
You can describe Boeing's startegy on a napkin

I make no apology for re-quoting this - from my standpoint this is singularly the most significant thing that has been written in this thread (spelling mistake excepted Wink).
The significance cannot possibly be overestimated.

When you can say the same about Airbus, you'll know they have a clear strategic, communicable vision (and I bet Mulally HAS described Boeing's strategy on a napkin, too  Smile)

Regards

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