The boss of EADS has denied he did anything wrong in the months before a profit warning caused by delays in production at its Airbus business.
Shareholders have questioned the timing of the news and many are calling for a probe into claims of insider trading.
The claims arose after it emerged that co-chief executive Noel Forgeard and other staff sold EADS shares in March.
That was followed this week by the company announcing delays in production of the new Airbus A380 superjumbo.
EADS shares slumped 26% on the news and some shareholders are unhappy about the way they were kept informed.
Mr Forgeard said that the first he knew of the problems was in April, but at that time he and other executives were convinced the difficulties could, and would, be rectified.
"The problems of delays were put on the table during April and at the end of May many people still thought it was possible to resolve them," Mr Forgeard said in an interview with French radio station Europe 1.
"The detailed work reached its conclusions on June 13 and we published them on the same day," he continued.
Mr Forgeard, who was one of six executives to exercise their share options, said he had done nothing wrong and would not be resigning.
The company said that its executives were only allowed to exercise options during a very limited period each year and backed up their chief executive's version of events.
Activist shareholder group ADAM wants regulators to open an investigation into insider trading.
Mr Forgeard said he had nothing to fear from a probe.
French market regulator AMF would not comment on reports that it had launched an investigation in the trading.
Back on time
The A380 has captured the imagination of many flight fans
Earlier this week, Airbus - which is 80%-owned by EADS and 20%-owned by the UK's BAE Systems - said problems with wiring meant that it would have to cut its A380 delivery target to nine from an original target of up to 27 in 2007.
EADS also said it expected earnings to be hit by 500m euros ($634m; £342m) a year between 2007 and 2010. The company is predicting that earnings will be dented by a total of 2bn euros.
The A380 will be the world's largest airliner, seating more than 800 passengers across twin decks, and the company has taken 159 firm orders for the plane from 16 carriers, including Emirates, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic.
The worry is that airlines may cancel orders or turn to rival producers such as Boeing, and a number of carriers have said they will be reviewing their deals with Airbus.
Mr Forgeard said that despite the problems, Airbus production would eventually get back on schedule.
French President Jacques Chirac backed Airbus to get back on track.
"The company is entirely mobilised," he said. "I have every confidence in it."