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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
Streiff resigns as CEO of Airbus
Airbus chief executive Christian Streiff
Mr Streiff was only in the top post for a few months
The chief executive of troubled plane maker Airbus has resigned, following a day of speculation that he was to go.

Christian Streiff is to be replaced by Louis Gallois, co-chief executive of Airbus parent company EADS.

Mr Streiff had been trying to push through reforms to recover from major delays in the production of the Airbus A380 superjumbo.

He took over as CEO in July, replacing Gustav Humbert who was ousted along with EADS co-CEO Noel Forgeard.

'Simpler management'

"EADS has announced the resignation of Christian Streiff, chief executive at Airbus... with immediate effect," an EADS statement said.

Louis Gallois
Mr Gallois was formerly head of SNCF

"The board of directors at EADS has named Louis Gallois as Airbus chief executive, with immediate effect."

Mr Gallois is a former head of French state railway company SNCF.

He will combine the top job at Airbus with his current role as joint head of the Franco-German defence group EADS where he works alongside German counterpart Thomas Enders.

"The new structure will allow for simpler and more effective management," said EADS.

Wiring problems

Mr Streiff, 52, had been a former executive of French building materials group Saint-Gobain.

With its A380 superjumbo now put back by two years, Mr Streiff was said to want more cash to tackle the matter.

Airbus A380
The A380 has become a major problem for Airbus

EADS said in its statement that it had fully backed his reorganisation plan for Airbus.

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin defended Mr Streiff at the weekend, saying he saw no reason for him to resign.

Then, Mr Villepin had said Mr Streiff was "doing tremendous work".

The opinion of the French government is important, because it owns 15% of shares in Franco-German EADS.

'Good thing'

After the shake-up was announced French Finance Minister Thierry Breton said he hoped Mr Gallois would quickly put in place a plan to end delays in plane production.

"The government thinks that it's a good thing to have a single line of management between EADS and Airbus," he said in a statement.

"And it hopes that the plan that was proposed by Airbus and accepted by the EADS board... notably to solve the delays on the A380 programme will be put in place without delay by the new president of Airbus."

The development of the A380 has been blighted by delays.

Airbus has sold 159 of the $250m (134m) jets to 16 airlines, many of whom are already demanding penalties for late delivery.

The airline currently plans to cut $2bn in costs from 2010 onwards, a move that has caused concerns in France, Germany and the UK, where the bulk of its manufacturing operations are located.

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