Christian Gras has been named within the Eurocopter Group as Executive Vice President, Customers and will be reporting directly to Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling. In this function, he will be a member of the Eurocopter Executive Committee.
After having begun his career as Product Engineer with the helicopters Division of Aerospatiale (an EADS predecessor), Christian Gras, who is 52, was then named Vice President of Marketing and Customer Support at Helibras, a Eurocopter subsidiary in Brazil. In 1994, he served as Managing Director of EMSA, a Eurocopter subsidiary in Mexico, before becoming CEO at American Eurocopter Corporation in the United States. In 2000, Christian Gras became the Executive Vice President of Customer Support of Eurocopter and, three years later, he became Senior Vice President for Latin America within the Strategy and Marketing Organization of EADS.
Christian Gras studied General Engineering at the Polytechnical Institute for Applied Sciences and is graduating with an MBA from INSEAD.
Mr. Gras succeeds Philippe Harache, who is leaving the company.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2009, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.6 billion Euros, orders for 344 new helicopters, and a 52 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,500 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.