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John Leahy was appointed Chief Operating Officer - Customers in July 2005, continuing his responsibilities as Chief Commercial Officer of Airbus, a role he held since August 1994. His responsibilities cover all commercial activities including sales, marketing, contracts, business transaction control, asset management, leasing, and business development. Mr. Leahy is a member of both the Group and the Airbus Executive Committees. In March 2012, he received one of France’s top civilian awards by being named an Officer of the Legion d'Honneur, for his services to European and French aviation.
One of Mr. 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 to this day. Mr. Leahy 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 instrumental in the launch of the A320neo (New Engine Option) family, which became the fastest selling aircraft program in aviation history.
Mr. 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, where his responsibilities included sales and marketing, as well as sales finance and contracts activities for the important American and Canadian markets. Mr. Leahy was responsible for the penetration of the strategic North American market, where most major US airlines are now Airbus customers.
Mr. 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 with more than 3,700 hours of flying time.
He was born in New York in August 1950 and is married with three children. His hobbies include, in addition to selling aircraft, sailing and scuba diving.