Dr. Thomas "Tom" Enders (born December 1958) is a German business executive. He currently serves as the chief executive of Airbus (formerly EADS, Airbus Group), having succeeded Louis Gallois to the role in May 2012.
Thomas Enders 2018
December 21 1958|
University of Bonn|
University of California, Los Angeles
|Occupation||CEO of Airbus|
Enders started out his career with early work experience as an assistant at the German Federal Parliament, and at a series of German and UK-based think tanks. Enders also serves as a Major in the German Army Reserve, and spent two years in the planning staff of the German defence ministry.
He joined the marketing department of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace in 1991 and held several functions at DASA until he was promoted to head the defence and security systems business in the frame of the merger of EADS in 2000. In 2005, he was appointed co-CEO (first with co-CEO Noël Forgeard, then Louis Gallois), a role he relinquished in 2007 when the company modified its corporate governance, giving away with double-CEO and double-Chairman structures. As a result of the governance change, Enders was appointed CEO of Airbus, the Group’s largest Division.
In May 2012, the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders approved Enders' nomination to become CEO of EADS. Shortly after his nomination, Enders embarked on a plan to merge with UK-based BAE Systems, which would have created the world’s leading defence company. However, the merger plan – the only remaining realistic opportunity to fulfill the company’s Vision2020 strategy – failed ultimately due to political intervention. In late 2012, EADS and its shareholders – namely Daimler AG, Lagardère and the French state – agreed to revamp the company’s corporate governance, thereby considerably reducing political influence in the Group. Although Germany, France and Spain are shareholders of the group, none hold any special blocking rights, meaning the company is governed solely by the Board of Directors and the Executive Management. After the failure of the merger with BAE Systems, Enders initiated a review of the company’s strategy, which was completed in July 2013. Among others, the outcome resulted in the rebranding of the Group from EADS to Airbus Group in January 2014.
Enders served as Chairman of BDLI, the German aerospace industry association, from 2005 to 2012. He also served as the chairman of Carl Zeiss Optronics prior to Cassidian acquiring the optronics division from Carl Zeiss in 2012.
As CEO of the commercial aircraft division, he is responsible for the A320neo launch in 2010, a massive sales success that forced Boeing to launch the 737 MAX. As the Airbus CEO since 2012, he pursued a failed merger with BAE Systems, merged the group with the commercial aircraft division and took control of the CSeries, pending regulatory review. On 15 December 2017, the Airbus board confirmed Enders will not stay beyond April 2019 amid corruption allegations in sales campaigns. He was named for 2017 Aviation Week’s Person of the Year, for having reshaped Airbus and altered the aircraft industry’s competitive landscape.
Under the premiership of David Cameron, Enders was appointed to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom's Business Advisory Group in his capacity as chief executive of Airbus and later as chief executive of EADS. Between 2010 and 2011, he served on the High-Level Group on Aviation and Aeronautics Research launched by European Commissioners Siim Kallas and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. Since 2015, he has been serving as a member of the European Commission’s High-level Group of Personalities on Defence Research chaired by Elżbieta Bieńkowska.
The son of a shepherd, Enders studied economics, politics, and history at the University of Bonn and the University of California, completing his doctorate in political science at the age of 28.