Shares in Rolls-Royce Holdings (LON:RR) have fallen into the red in today’s session as Airbus poached the engine maker’s Civil Aerospace President Eric Schulz. The UK group noted that it had started the search process for a replacement.
As of 10:15 GMT, Rolls-Royce’s share price had given up one percent to 873.66p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and currently standing 0.49 percent higher at 7,420.08 points. The group’s shares have added more than 30 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a nine-percent rise in the Footsie.
Eric Schulz leaves for Airbus
Airbus announced in a statement today that it had appointed Rolls-Royce’s President for Civil Aerospace Eric Schulz to replace John Leahy as head of sales at at the company. The British engine maker confirmed the appointment in a separate statement, noting that he would remain with the company until the end of the year to help ensure operational execution of the Civil Aerospace business through to year-end. He, however, will not be involved in strategic or commercial discussions concerning airframe or airline customers.
Pending the arrival of a permanent successor, Chris Young, in his current role as Director, Programmes – Civil Aerospace, will take on immediate responsibility for commercial and strategic matters within the division, reporting to chief executive Warren East. The British engine maker meanwhile reassured investors that it had kicked off the search for a successor to Schulz.
The departure marks a blow for East who has been looking to turn around the company’s fortunes following a string of profit warnings and a hefty bribery settlement earlier this year. The company recently updated investors on its recent performance, revealing continued weakness at its Marine division.
Analysts on Rolls-Royce
JPMorgan Chase & Co reiterated its ‘neutral’ rating on the British engine maker today, valuing the shares at 950p. According to MarketBeat, Rolls-Royce currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 791.53p.