Honest, heartfelt speech is Airbus CEO’s last

Six days after the company head addressed an audience about a corporate crisis, he was fired

In an Oct. 3, 2006 speech to employees, new Airbus president and CEO Christian Streiff lays out his plans for resolving a corporate crisis resulting from long delays in the delivery of the new A380 jumbo jet.

On Oct. 9, the company announced he was gone after only 100 days on the job. The speech—or at least the plan it articulates—reportedly caused a rift between Streiff and Airbus’s parent company, EADS. Still, it’s the best speech of its kind that we have read in years.

Airbus and EADS have jointly completed the full review of the A380 program. And, of course, we studied the Airbus’ overall situation in depth. We have come to joint conclusions and we fully share the situation analysis as well as the challenge for the way forward.

Perhaps he spoke too soon.

I will update you today on three topics:

1. The status of the A380 schedule and our path forward for that great air plane program.

2. An overview of a comprehensive business improvement program for Airbus, which will make our company more nimble and profitable—and will position us better to meet our commitments to customers and shareholders more consistently.

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