Airbus's 80 million-euro golden parachute to former executive

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The former commercial director of EADS – now Airbus – Jean-Paul Gut, who set up the commercial and marketing system that is now at the centre of parallel corruption investigations by French and British police, received a 'golden parachute' of around 80 million euros, it can be revealed. A joint investigation by Mediapart and German weekly Der Spiegel also shows that the European aerospace group was willing to continue using Gut as a highly-paid consultant even after he left his lucrative post in 2007.

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It is one of the documents that European aerospace group Airbus would doubtless have preferred not to have fallen into the hands of criminal investigators. But both the French national financial crimes unit the PNF and the Serious Fraud Office in London demanded to see it. It is a contract that sheds light on certain management practices at Airbus – formerly EADS – those little arrangements between friends that senior executives at the group did not want to go into detail about. For the document detailing the departure terms of Jean-Paul Gut, the man who handled all “difficult” commercial deals and especially those in Gulf states, at EADS and its French predecessor until 2007, is most certainly an unusual contract.