(Changes length of term to 3 from 4 years in paras 2, 16)
* Enders will start discussing post-2016 future next year
* Will have been in aerospace for 25 years but 'not bored'
* Rules out another aerospace job or politics
By Tim Hepher
AMSTERDAM, May 27 Airbus Group Chief
Executive Tom Enders has ruled out taking another job in
aerospace or going into politics when he eventually decides to
step down from Europe's largest aerospace group - but is not yet
ready to say when that will be.
Speaking to Reuters ahead of a shareholders' meeting, the
55-year-old chief executive said he would not begin to address
whether to seek a second three-year term before next year.
"At the moment my contract is still running for two years,
so we will discuss perhaps in a year from now," Enders said.
"In 2016, I will have been in the industry for 25 years.
It's quite hard to move to another job in the aerospace industry
if you've been the CEO of Airbus Group," he said, adding: "No,
I'm not thinking about politics."
Tuesday's meeting marks the half-way point in Enders'
eventful four-year mandate as CEO, which saw a bid for BAE
Systems to create the world's largest defence company
blocked by German opposition, and an overhaul of company
structure designed to curb French and German state influence.
"I still like what I'm doing; it's a fantastic industry,"
Enders said. "Caffeine and kerosene really wake me up and make
me happy...Maybe there's still something for me to do. I'm not
"I can't offer you an adventure every second day though.
It's now execution, execution, execution, we have to deliver;
it's so important. We have lots of ideas but we have to make
resources match with ambitions.
"We have a new shareholder structure with over 70 percent
free float. They have high expectations; we don't want to
Airbus and U.S. rival Boeing have both signaled a
break from pioneering but risky new projects while returning
more cash to shareholders, while Airbus is preparing to deliver
its first new jet in a decade, the A350.
Analysts say Airbus Group is also looking for a period of
stability after last year's shake-up, though potential
successors to Enders such as Fabrice Bregier, the 52-year-old
head of the Airbus planemaking unit, are waiting in the wings.
Shareholders will formally adopt Airbus Group as the
company's legal title, matching the trade name used since
January when Enders ditched the name chosen when the group was
created from a Franco-German-Spanish merger in 2000 - EADS.
Last year saw EADS shares almost double to record levels
after the reorganization and a share buyback, but while the
company met its earnings forecasts it missed its cashflow
targets, resulting in efforts to tame that area's volatility.
Shareholders will be asked on Tuesday to give cashflow a
greater weight in Enders' compensation, which includes a basic
salary of 1.4 million euros plus performance-related bonuses.
There has been speculation in the past that Enders would
seek a career in politics. The former defence ministry planner
and paratroop reservist has clashed with Berlin over industrial
or defence policy and resigned from the conservative CSU party
in 2011 over Germany's opposition to intervention in Libya.
A further clash appeared to be looming on the eve of the
shareholders' meeting after Enders warned Germany in a Reuters
interview of extra job cuts and factory closures due to
toughening of arms export controls.
While he is not yet ready to discuss whether he will seek
re-appointment for a second three-year term until 2020, Enders
effectively ruled out staying on for a third term, the maximum
recommended for board mandates under governance rules.
Asked how the balance between commercial and defence
activities would look in 2022, Enders said, "2022, that's a
question that my successor will deal with, that's for sure."
(Additional reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Erica