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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

France and Germany Rework EADS Management System

TOULOUSE, France -- France and Germany agreed Monday to streamline management at European aerospace giant EADS, looking to resolve a longstanding power struggle over the company that has dented bilateral relations.

The deal will end an awkward system of two-headed management -- with a French citizen and a German citizen sharing the chief executive and chairman roles -- to introduce a more normal hierarchy in the company, which owns plane maker Airbus.

The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. will have one chairman and one chief executive. But in a sign that national sensitivities remain, the roles are expected to rotate between France and Germany starting in 2011.

"This is a great day for this company, a great decision has been made. It is a great day for the French-German axis," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the southwest city of Toulouse.

Their meeting at the headquarters of EADS's unit Airbus coincides with rising friction between Paris and Berlin over economic policy, and officials hope the new leadership at EADS will help ease at least one source of tension.

Under the terms of Monday's deal, Germany's Thomas Enders will take sole charge of EADS's airplane arm Airbus, while Frenchman Louis Gallois will become the sole CEO of EADS. They currently serve as co-CEOs, while Gallois also runs Airbus.

A two-year delay in deliveries of Airbus' long-awaited A380 superjumbo plunged the plane maker into financial crisis last year, sparking recriminations between French and German workers.