Stéphane Mayer, chief executive officer (CEO) of Nexter Systems and co-president of the joint company KNDS (Krauss Maffei Wegmann + Nexter Defence Systems), was unanimously elected as president of the Group of French Defence and Security Land and Air-Land Industries (GICAT) at its General Assembly on 30 June.
Mayer said he was “particularly proud of the confidence accorded by
the members of GICAT. Representing and promoting the French defence and security land industry is a real challenge at this time when our country faces such big issues.” He added that he would put all his energy into advertising French know-how “which is strategic for our economy.”
In a particularly complex national and international context, his job will be to raise the issues of equipping the land and security forces, of strengthening the synergies with all the partners of the sector and to strengthen “team France” – a team constituted by all the companies in the GICAT – the majors, the mid-sized companies and the SMEs.
This is a good occasion to tell you a little about Mayer’s career path. An active private pilot since 1990, a colonel in the citizens’ reserve, Mayer’s nomination as co-president of KNDS was first revealed here on FOB on 9 December 2015.
A graduate engineer from the 1981 class of the Ecole Polytechnique, he went on to gain degrees in economy and finance from the ENAE and Sciences-Po Paris in 1986.
After a first professional experience in external auditing, he was engaged by Lagardère-Matra Hachette in 1992 to manage the internal auditing of the group whose business interests ranged from defence to media. In 1997 he was appointed financial director, then member of the board of management of the subsidiary, Matra Automobile.
In 2003 he joined the Airbus group (formerly EADS) as CEO of EADS Socata, an aircraft and aeronautical equipment manufacturer, constructor of the Epsilon, TB and TBM. The company won several MOC (maintaining in operational condition) contracts from the SIMMAD (the defence ministry’s integrated structure to maintain its aeronautical equipment in operational condition).
In 2007 EADS gave him a three-year mandate as executive president of ATR, the joint-venture that manufactures the regional propeller aircraft ATR 42 and ATR 72.
In 2010 he joined the Daher group where he was managing director of the group and president of its aeronautical and defence branch comprising three activities: the design and manufacture of equipment and aerostructures; logistical services and MOC for industries in the sector and the armed forces; and the manufacture of aircraft with the TBM series, notably the latest model, the TBM 900.
At the end of 2015 he was appointed CEO of Nexter Systems.