EADS Socata Names Jean-Michel Léonard Chairman And CEO

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EADS Socata's board of directors last week appointed Jean-Michel Léonard as the new chairman and chief executive officer of EADS Socata. He succeeds Stéphane Mayer, who was appointed CEO of ATR, a joint venture of Alenia Aeronautica (Finmeccanica Group) and EADS. In the wake of Mayer's departure, EADS Socata's board expressed its appreciation of his contributions to the success of EADS Socata and especially the TBM 850 program. Léonard, former head of Airbus' Centre of Excellence Electrics, also has a history at ATR: He previously served as the company's CEO and also played a major role in its success. He is a graduate of the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris and of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined Aerospatiale in 1979 as supervisor for fatigue analysis methods in the design office and, in 1982, he moved to the Aerospatiale Sales & Marketing Department where he was responsible for the sales engineering of the Socata TB 30 Epsilon military trainer program and a participant in the beginnings of the ATR program. His professional career includes service as senior vice president of Product Support at ATR (from 1990 to 1995) and as president of AI(R) American Support and AI(R) Marketing Inc. from 1996 to 1997. From 2001 to 2004, he was CEO of ATR, and from 2004 to 2007 he held the position of ATR's chairman of the board. EADS Socata has built more than 17,000 aircraft since its creation as Morane-Saulnier in 1911. Current products include the TBM family of high-speed turboprops, TB GT piston aircraft and aerostructures for Airbus civil airliners, the A400M military transporter, Dassault Falcon jets, Eurocopter helicopters and Embraer regional jets.