PARIS – Dassault Aviation, maker of the Rafale fighter jet, has appointed Eric Trappier as chairman and chief executive officer, the company said on Dec. 18.
Trappier, currently the firm’s international affairs director, will succeed Charles Edelstenne, who will hit retirement age in January. Edelstenne proposed Trappier as his successor over the other reported internal candidate, Loïk Segalen, who becomes the company’s No. 2.
“Upon [Edelstenne’s] proposal and in agreement with Mr. Serge Dassault and the board of directors, [Edelstenne] will be replaced by Mr. Eric Trappier who will become, starting from Jan. 9, 2013, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Aviation, assisted by Mr. Loïk Segalen, who will become Chief Operating Officer,” the company said in a statement.
Trappier has been executive vice president of the international business, involved in export efforts for the Rafale, while Segalen has been financial director.
Both the executives were considered candidates for the top job, media reports said.
Edelstenne will remain a company director and will sit on the audit committee, the company said.
Trappier’s appointment comes as defense electronics company Thales is due to hold its board meeting on Dec. 20. A decision is expected on who will succeed Luc Vigneron as the company’s chief executive.
Dassault, a family-controlled company, is the industrial shareholder of Thales with a 26 percent stake, while the government holds 27 percent of the systems company.