The extraordinary sales of John Leahy for Airbus
Rome, Italy - The deals signed in Dubai are another milestone in a great career, but now questions arise on who is going to be his successor
After the record high sales that were signed on November 15 at the "Dubai Airshow" -273 A-320neo aircraft plus 157 A-321s to the private equity firm Indigo Partners (see AVIONEWS) and 90 A-320s to CDB Aviation, the tireless Chief Operating Officer of Airbus John Leahy signed the following day an agreement with Golden Falcon Aviation for other 25 A-320s: two unforgettable days that were underlined yesterday by the Italian newspaper "La Repubblica" that in a long article retraced the steps of Leahy's career and highlighted how since his arrival in 1985 at the New York seat of the European Group, the brilliant salesman contributed in a substantial manner to its growth, making the deals for the most of the over ten thousand airplanes that Airbus built. Now questions arise as to who will be his successor, because Leahy -67 years old- expressed his intention to retire soon and that his deputy Kiran Rao recently said that he is no longer pursuing the position of commercial director but wants to focus on product strategies: a choice that was reported at the beginning of November by the press, that also said that a search had started outside the core of Airbus and talked about a climate of uncertainty, about the fear that market shares against Boeing could be lost... but it was before November 15 and of Leahy's record deal. The question of his successor when he will leave, instead remains.
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