The European aerospace group EADS is ready to replace Christian Streiff as chief executive of its aircraft subsidiary Airbus with EADS co-chairman Louis Gallois, a source close to the matter told Agence France-Presse yesterday.
The European Aeronautic Defence and Space company (EADS) expected to accept Streiff's mooted resignation, the source said.
Leading private shareholders, the German automaker DaimlerChrysler and the French media group Lagardere, back Streiff's departure after just three months as head of the troubled plane maker, the source said.
Last week, Streiff reportedly sent letters of resignation to EADS co-chairmen, German Thomas Enders and Frenchman Louis Gallois.
Streiff was believed to be seeking greater autonomy in implementing his restructuring plan for Airbus, which announced last week further delays in deliveries of its most high-profile jet -- the double-decker A380 superjumbo.
But the source said he had been notified upon nomination that EADS sought on the contrary to exert greater control over its subsidiary.
Ten days ago Streiff presented the findings of an internal audit into Airbus to the EADS board and also outlined a restructuring plan.
The board did not approve his plan, but then last Monday announced ambitious cost-cutting targets to pull Airbus out of crisis.
However, in a meeting later with staff, management said that up to three months would be needed to detail the measures needed.
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Sunday defended Streiff's position, saying in a televised interview that he saw no reason for the Airbus chief to resign.
"I have no indication at all of that," Villepin said on Sunday. "He is doing a formidable job and there is no reason for Christian Streiff's resignation."