November 30, 2017 / 10:41 AM / a year ago

Airbus technology head Eremenko to leave for UTC -report

* Eremenko to leave for UTC -La Tribune

* Airbus: no comment to make on matter

* Unions say Eremenko had proven unpopular

* Eremenko joined Airbus from Google

PARIS, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Airbus’ technology head Paul Eremenko is to leave the company and join rival United Technologies Corporation (UTC), French newspaper La Tribune reported on Thursday.

An Airbus spokesman said the company had no comment to make on the matter, while officials at UTC could not be immediately reached for comment.

Airbus has already made some top management changes as it looks to fight back from recent losses to rival Boeing.

This week, Airbus hired the head of Rolls-Royce’s civil engines arm, Eric Schulz, to replace John Leahy and lead its commercial aircraft sales, after months of uncertainty over who would replace the veteran dealmaker.

Airbus’ trade union officials said Eremenko’s departure was likely, given his unpopularity since joining Airbus from Google in 2015.

While French union officials do not usually receive advanced word on management changes, they do maintain wide networks within companies to ensure they are abreast of developments.

The union officials blamed Eremenko for shutting down a site in Suresnes, near Paris, as Eremenko sought to modernise Airbus’ research and engineering practices.

“There was the closure of Suresnes. That really upset a lot of the teams,” said Francoise Vallin of Airbus’ CFE-CGC trade union.

Vallin’s view was backed by Didier Hacquart from the CFDT trade union at Airbus.

“He caused a lot of upset with the Suresnes workers. The report in La Tribune looks true, but I don’t know any more about it,” said Hacquart. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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