EADS has replaced Stefan Zoller as head of Cassidian, the group’s defense business. Cassidian has not enjoyed the same level of success as other EADS divisions, and is facing a difficult home market in Europe.
An official statement says Zoller is leaving “to pursue new professional challenges.” A senior source in the division told AIN that new EADS CEO Tom Enders opposed Zoller’s ambition to hive off Cassidian as a separate, all-German company. Zoller may also have been blamed for the costly and to date unsuccessful promotion of the Barracuda and Talarion UAV projects, the source added.
“It is imperative that we focus our efforts on those areas where we can deliver consistent revenues with strong margins,” said Enders in the statement, in which he thanked Zoller for “nearly two decades of strong personal engagement in and for our industry.”
Zoller’s replacement, Bernhard Gerwert, 59, headed the division’s defense electronics and air systems business units before becoming Cassidian’s COO last year. As such, he was equally responsible with Zoller for the failed bid to sell the Eurofighter Typhoon to India, which was led by EADS. In the first half of this year, Cassidian earned €88 million before interest and tax on revenues of €2,186 million, almost the same totals as a year earlier.
In the past year, Cassidian has concluded what it describes as a strategic agreement with Rheinmetall on UAVs. This company makes the KZO system that is used by the German Army. Cassidian has also bought 75 percent of Carl Zeiss Optronics, with a view to developing a sensor business.