European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EAD) named Bernhard Gerwert head of Cassidian, its defense unit whose Eurofighter Typhoon jet has suffered losses to rival planes in competitions for international orders.
Gerwert, 59, takes over Cassidian as the company struggles to restructure its businesses and boost exports amid cuts in defense spending at its principal customers, the German and French governments. Gerwert was Cassidian Chief Operating Officer and previously headed the Military Air Systems unit. Stefan Zoller will step down to pursue other opportunities, EADS said today in a statement.
Zoller’s departure after seven years running the defense business is the biggest personnel change since 53-year-old German Tom Enders was promoted from chief executive of commercial plane unit Airbus SAS in January to run all of EADS, which includes helicopter, space and defense operations. Cassidian-led campaigns promoting the Eurofighter have lost a series of contracts over the last year with Switzerland and India opting for rival offers from Saab AB and Dassault Aviation SA (AM) respectively.
“India must have been a disappointment,” said Sandy Morris, a London-based analyst at Jefferies International, by phone.
Cassidian sales were 5.6 billion euros last year out of 49 billion for EADS.
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