Sean O’Keefe, chairman and CEO of Airbus Group, the company’s North American business unit, is due to resign his position effective 1 March 2014. His successor will be Allan McArtor, currently chairman of Airbus Americas (pictured left). In his new capacity, McArtor will be a member of the Airbus Group Executive Committee.
O’Keefe has elected to step down as chairman and CEO of Airbus Group in order to fully address ongoing medical issues due to injuries he sustained in a 2010 aircraft accident in Alaska. However, he will continue with the company on special assignment to oversee and facilitate the compliant transition of the company’s ongoing security agreement with the Department of Defense to the new US Group structure.
“Sean has made significant contributions to the Airbus Group during his tenure as CEO of EADS North America, now Airbus Group, Inc. for which I am extremely grateful. These included leading the company during the tanker replacement competition, increasing our reputation with the US Government and expanding our market presence in North America. I am pleased he stays with us for a while on special assignment and I wish him all the best for his medical recovery”, said Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group.
O’Keefe was appointed CEO of then EADS North America in November 2009 and was promoted to chairman of the board in January 2011. At the same time, Enders welcomed Allan McArtor to his upcoming role as chairman and CEO of Airbus Group: “For nearly 13 years Allan has been a key member of the Airbus Americas senior leadership team and has served as its Chairman during a period of significant growth and expansion. His previous government and private sector experience will be an invaluable asset to Airbus Group and, with his aviation-rich biography, Allan will give us tremendous lift and thrust in the US.”
Prior to joining Airbus in 2001, McArtor held a number of senior positions in both industry and government. He previously served as head of the FAA, founder and CEO of Legend Airlines and a senior member of the FedEx leadership team. Furthermore, McArtor is a 1964 graduate of the US Air Force Academy, a decorated combat fighter pilot and a former member of the Thunderbirds flight demonstration team.