Co-CEO, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS)
Born: June 28, 1948, in Paris, France.
Education: Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, BA, 1970; École Normale Supérieure, BS, 1971; actuarial sciences degree, 1980.
Career: Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, financial management department, 1972–1982, controller; Matra Group, 1982–1992, chairman, finance committee; Banque Arjil, 1992–1993, chairman, supervisory board; Lagardère Group, 1993–1998, chairman and managing director, finance committee; Lagardère SCA, 1998–, general partner; European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), 1999–, co-CEO.
Awards: Aerospace Laureate, Aviation Week , 1989; Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, French government, 2001; Bundesverdienstkreuz, German government, 2004.
Address: European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) NV, 37, boulevard de Montmorency, 75016 Paris, France; http://www.eads-nv.com.
■ Philippe Camus was the French leader of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) in the early 2000s. He shared the company's chief executive position with Rainer Hertrich, who represented the German half of the Franco-German venture. Founded in 1999, the firm strove to be the worlwide leader in the aeronautics and space industry. EADS was well on its way to achieving its goals in the first decade of the 21st century, ranking in first place worldwide in the commercial launcher systems market, in second place in the helicopter, passenger aircraft, and guided missile markets, and in third place in the field of military transport aircraft. EADS was also a leading global supplier of satellites and military aircraft. The company made waves in the early years of the millennium with the double-tiered Airbus A380, a "super-jumbo" airplane scheduled for launching in 2006. Credited
with orchestrating the secret talks that were held prior to the EADS merger, Camus later cited the successes he had achieved for EADS in his advocacy of multinational collaborative projects.
Philippe Camus was born in Paris on June 28, 1948. From 1967 to 1971 he studied economics and finance at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris. He also obtained a degree in physics from the École Normale Supérieure (rue d'Ulm) in 1971. In 1972 Camus entered the financial management department of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations as a controller. He completed an actuarial degree in 1980.
Camus joined the general management of the Lagardère Group in 1982 after serving the Caisse des Dépôts for 10 years. The Lagardère Group held stakes in a variety of industries ranging from media to missiles and motor vehicles. Camus became the chairman of the finance committee of the Matra Group, which focused on the automobile industry. Camus also served as chairman of the supervisory board of the Banque Arjil from 1987 to 1993. In 1993 he was appointed chairman and managing director of the finance committee of the Lagardère Group. In addition to Camus's work at Lagardère, he served from 1996 to 2001 as a member of the Conseil des Marchés Financiers, the French supervisory authority for the financial markets.
In 1989 Camus shared the Aerospace Laureate award given by Aviation Week with Jean-Luc Lagardère and Jean-Louis Gergorin. The three men were honored for their teamwork and forward-looking plans to establish a multinational European aerospace company.
Camus became a general partner of Lagardère SCA in 1998, forming a triumvirate with the company's head, Jean-Luc Lagardère, and his son Arnaud. The Lagardère SCA group owned the world's largest magazine publisher, Hachette Filipacchi Medias, held a 15 percent stake in EADS, and operated the Matra Automobile Group. Arnaud Lagardère focused on the media portion of the group, while Camus headed the missiles and automotive divisions.
Lagardère's Matra Defense Unit, Matra Hautes Technologies, merged with the government-owned Aérospatiale in 1999, in effect privatizing the French government's aerospace company. That year Camus became the leader and chairman of the board of the Aérospatiale Matra group. The French government owned 48 percent of Aérospatiale Matra while the Lagardère Group owned 33 percent. The public held a 17 percent stake. At the time, Aérospatiale Matra was first in the worldwide helicopter market and second on the list of missile companies. Aérospatiale Matra became part of EADS when the company was formed later in 1999. EADS was a trinational conglomerate created by DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA, Germany), Aerospatiale Matra (France), and Construcciones Aeronauticas SA (CASA, Spain).
As BusinessWeek reported at the time, "EADS represents a personal triumph for the mild-mannered but intense Camus, who will run the company with DASA CEO Rainer Hertrich. Camus was instrumental in the on-again, off-again secret talks with DaimlerChrysler and the French government late last year, which led to the EADS merger. But Camus, a key figure in French aerospace since joining the Matra missile group in 1982, never lost faith that a deal could be hammered out" ( BusinessWeek , June 19, 2000).
The French government made Camus a chevalier of the Legion of Honor in July 2000. In 2001 he became a director of the Institut d'Expertise et de Prospective (Institute for Consultant Experts and Futurology) of the École Normale Supérieure as well as the president of Groupement des Industries Fran-çaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS), the French aerospace industries association.
In addition to Camus's work with EADS and GIFAS, he served on the boards of directors of Hachette SA; Hachette Distribution Services; Dassault Aviation; Lagardère Active Broadcast; Hachette Filipacchi Médias; La Provence ; Nice-Matin ; and Editions P. Amaury. Camus was also a member of the shareholders and remuneration committees of Airbus as well as the manager of the internal control group of Aero Ré.
Camus followed his mentor Jean-Luc Lagardère in having high expectations for EADS. "We want to be the world leader," he said during a discussion of EADS' vision for 2008 ( Financial Times Deutschland , May 12, 2004). In the civilian aerospace industry, the company projected increased revenues with the future launch of its double-tiered Airbus A380. With regard to defense, Camus said that EADS would pay particular attention to Asia. He also stressed the importance of Russia and the United States as markets for the company's expansion. In the United States, the subsidiary EADS-CASA became the official partner of the U.S. Coast Guard.
With regard to Asia, EADS focused on the history of its member companies in working with Singapore and other markets. "We consider Asia to be a top priority and key export market for EADS' future success," Camus said in 2002 ( AviationNow.com , [date]). The company planned to invest in local companies and form cooperative projects. EADS purchased a stake in the Chinese aerospace firm AviChina in 2003. Camus also announced plans to work with Japanese airplane manufacturers in developing a supersonic jet to replace the Concorde. He said that the market did not currently support the launch of a commercial program but that a future economic upswing would create a renewed demand for faster travel. Camus reported that working groups in Europe and Japan had already thought about collaborating on designing engines for the jet. The "hypersonic" aircraft that he envisioned would fly seven thousand miles nonstop, carrying three hundred passengers—twice the capacity of the Concorde—between Paris and Tokyo within two hours ( BBC News , November 23, 2003).
In the aftermath of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, Camus emphasized the need for transatlantic cooperation and exchange of information in the defense industry, calling for a "strong, healthy, and integrated transatlantic defense industrial base through a framework provided by NATO" ( Vital Speeches of the Day , November 1, 2002).
"Transatlantic allies should foster an environment in which transatlantic and other international industrial partnerships could focus on delivering the most advanced systems in the most cost-effective manner," Camus said in response to threats of a strengthened Buy American Act ( Aviation Week & Space Technology , November 11, 2003). The Buy American Act requires public institutions to purchase items made in or from supplies provided by the United States prior to considering goods from other counrties. In 2003 and 2004 bills were submitted to congress to amend the Buy American Act to increase the requirement for American-made content, and to tighten the waiver provisions. Camus cited ongoing initiatives supporting the long-term goal of improved transatlantic cooperation, including EADS's ties with Northrop Grumman covering the Global Hawk, an unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicle, and the Euro Hawk, a European derivative. Camus also referred to the Medium Extended Air Defense system as a prime example of this kind of cooperation. The initiative was a multinational effort on the part of Germany, Italy, and the United States. Another project involved cooperation between France and Italy in developing a multilayer missile defense system.
Camus, along with EADS and the Lagardère Group, lost his visionary mentor when Jean-Luc Lagardère died in March 2003. Camus and Hertrich paid tribute to Lagardère in a joint press release: "To the staff of EADS, Jean-Luc has represented the body and soul of European aerospace. He has played a key role in almost all major developments of the European aerospace industry in the last 40 years. He has been a driving force for the launch of the A380, which will be the leading aircraft of the 21st century…. Jean-Luc Lagardère provided great leadership for all of us at EADS. He strongly supported us in steering EADS through its first years…. His name will live on as a legend in European business and commerce. And we all will miss his wisdom and focus (March 15, 2003)."
Camus continued to lead the Lagardère Group together with Arnaud Lagardère while Arnaud assumed his father's position on the EADS board. The Matra Automobile Group was closed in 2003.
In 2004 the German government awarded Camus the Bundesverdienstkreuz, which is given to honor significant achievements in politics, business, or culture. Camus viewed the award as an official recognition of the German-French partnership that EADS represented. "After four years we can state that the EADS is a political, business and industrial success," Camus said. "Today this success of German-French cooperation can be recognized as an exemplary model of Europe and the world" ( Presseportal , May 18, 2004).
With the impending launch of the Airbus A380 and EADS's continued focus on improving its operations and over-all efficiency, Camus' goal for the company—to be a leader in everything that flies—certainly appeared to be within reach.
See also entries on European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V. and Hachette S.A. in International Directory of Company Histories .
Camus, Philippe, "Toward A Common Defense," Vital Speeches of the Day , November 1, 2002, pp. 39–44.
"EADS CEO Philippe Camus mit Bundesverdienstkreuz ausgezeichnet," Presseportal , May 18, 2004, http://www.presseportal.de/story.htx?nr=557707&action=bigpic&att=29295 .
"EADS Mourns the Death of Its Chairman Jean-Luc Lagardère," March 15, 2003, http://www.eads.net/frame/lang/en/1024/xml/content/OF00000000400004/6/12/504126.html .
"EADS setzt sich ambitionierte Ziele," Financial Times Deutschland , May 12, 2004, http://www.ftd.de/ub/in/1084269307790 .
Eshel, Tamir, "Camus: Planning For Growth in Asia, Despite Global Slow-Down," AviationNow.com , February 27, 2002, http://www.aviationweek.com/shownews/02asia1/topsto19_3.htm .
"Firm Considers 'Son of Concorde'," BBC News , November 23, 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/business/3231354.stm .
Rossant, John, "Special Report: The Stars of Europe—Challengers. Philippe Camus," BusinessWeek , June 19, 2000, p. 190.
Sparaco, Pierre, and Michael A. Taverna, "Perched for Recovery," Aviation Week & Space Technology , November 11, 2003, pp. 26–27.
—Maike van Wijk