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Mon, Dec 06, 2004

Hertrich To Leave EADS

Will Step Down Next Year In Spat Over Coporate Leadership

The trouble with running a company like a marriage is the intensity of the lovers' quarrels. So is the case with the European aerospace consortium EADS.

Right now, the company, which also owns Airbus, is run by two men -- Germany's Rainer Hertrich and Frenchman Philippe Camus. French President Jacques Chirac reportedly wants to put just one person in charge. Hertrich, according to the BBC, said, "EADS should not be a springboard for personal ambition." This, in an interview with the WirtschaftsWoche newspaper for an article that will be published Thursday.

The idea of a single chief at the helm of EADS has also caught the fancy of Airbus CEO Noel Forgeard, which did not escape Hertrich's attention.

"I cannot comprehend that Noel Forgeard, who accomplishes great things as head of Airbus, has such little regard for the international image of the group," he said, quoted by Reuters.

Of course, Forgeard has said in the past that he wouldn't mind being that one person in charge of EADS.

The argument could be moot. German-based Daimler Chrysler owns a 30 percent stake in EADS and it wants things to remain just the way they are.

Both Hertrich's and Camus's contracts expire next July. Hertrich now says he won't renew.

FMI: www.eads.com

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