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Chief Operating Officer – Customers
John Leahy was appointed Chief Operating Officer – Customers of Airbus in July 2005, continuing his responsibilities as Chief Commercial Officer of Airbus, a role he had held since August 1994. His responsibilities cover all commercial activities including sales, marketing, contracts, business transaction control, asset management, leasing, and business development. Leahy is a member of the Airbus Executive Committee and has been a member of the Airbus Group Executive Committee since September 2012.
One of Leahy’s greatest achievements was to raise Airbus’ market share from 18% in 1995 to over 50% by the turn of the century, where it has been maintained over the last 14 years. He also led the commercial activities that resulted in the successful launch of Airbus’ next generation flagship aircraft which set the standards for large aircraft in the 21st century, the A380 and the A350 XWB. Leahy was also a key player in the launch of the A320neo (New Engine Option) family, which has become the fastest selling aircraft programme in aviation history. He was also instrumental in the launch of the A350XWB family as well as the A330neo.
John Leahy worked for seven years in marketing at Piper Aircraft before joining Airbus North America in January 1985. He became Head of Sales in 1988 and then became President of Airbus North America. Leahy was responsible for the penetration of the strategic North American market, where most major U.S. airlines are now Airbus customers.
John Leahy has an MBA from Syracuse University with concentration in both Finance and Transportation Management and a BA from Fordham University with a dual major in Communications and Philosophy. He is also a licensed multi-engine commercial pilot and a former flight instructor. In March 2012, he received one of France’s top civilian awards by being named an Officer of the Légion d'Honneur, for his services to European and French aviation.