Airbus creates new Chief Innovation Officer position


Yann Barbaux has been appointed Airbus Chief Innovation Officer, effective May 1, 2013. In this new role he will lead a team to manage an agile network of innovators throughout Airbus. Yann will report directly to Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer.

Yann’s key mission will be to foster a strong innovation culture throughout Airbus. Together with his team, he will encourage new ideas from all areas of the company and facilitate a rapid, systematic screening at the right decision-making levels.

“Innovation is at the heart of Airbus, it is part of our DNA and a fundamental ingredient in ensuring our long-term growth and profitability,” said Fabrice Bregier. “This new network will instill and spread a more open innovation mindset across Airbus also taking on board the numerous ideas generated outside. I am convinced that this will enable us to respond to and anticipate future trends quicker for the overall benefit of our customers. I wish Yann Barbaux all the best on this inspiring assignment.”

In 2006, Yann was tasked to create and develop the new Corporate Research organization of the Group, EADS Innovation Works, which he has been leading since then. Prior to this he was named Vice President of Research & Technology and Defense in the Corporate Merger Integration team tasked the creation of EADS in 2000. In 2002 he was appointed Vice President – Chief Operating Officer of the EADS CCR (Corporate Research Centre), becoming Vice President and Executive Director in 2004.

He began his career in 1981 at Aerospatiale’s Corporate Quality Organization, where he was responsible for the structural test laboratory as well as for qualification of initial prototypes and test articles for different products of the group. During this time, he was associated with the development of new programs – including the A320. During 1987, Yann was appointed head of the Metallic and Thermo-structural Materials Department in the Aerospatiale Common Research Centre (CRC), and was promoted in 1996 as the CRC’s Head of Strategy, Research Coordination and Cooperation.

Having graduated from the French Engineering School “Ecole Centrale de Paris” in 1981 with an engineering degree, Yann also has a master’s degree in metallurgy from the French University “Paris VI Pierre et Marie Curie.”

Married with three children, Yann is a rock n’ roll fan, and plays the electric guitar. He is also a skier and a rugby supporter.