Stéphane Abrial named advisor to Chairman and CEO of Safran

Paris, January 7, 2013

French air force General (Ret.) Stéphane Abrial has joined Safran as Advisor to Jean-Paul Herteman, Chairman and CEO of Safran. His appointment took effect on January 2, 2013.

Stéphane Abrial, 58, graduated from the French Air Force Academy in Salon-de-Provence (1973). He holds degrees from the French Air War College (Ecole supérieure de guerre aérienne), the U.S. Air Force's Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama (1992), and the Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale (2000).
Stéphane Abrial started his career as a fighter pilot in 1977. In 1981 he was assigned to a squadron of the German Luftwaffe in Neuburg on the Danube, first as a fighter pilot, then as flight commander. Returning to France in 1984, he was appointed deputy commander then commander of a fighter squadron in Dijon. In 1988, he led the Mirage 2000 conversion team for the Greek air force's 1st squadron, based in Tanagra. He was subsequently appointed deputy commander, then commander of the 5th fighter wing in Orange, which he led in the war to free Kuwait in 1991.
In 1992, Stéphane Abrial was assigned to the office of the Chief of staff of the Air Force in Paris, then, in 1995, to the office of the Chief of Defense. In 1996, he was assigned to NATO's International Military Staff in Brussels, in charge of the transformation of the integrated military structure. He was appointed deputy to the French President's Chief of staff in Paris in 2000, then became head of the Prime Minister's military office in 2002. In 2005 he was assigned as Commander of air defense and air operations, then in 2006, he was selected to become Chief of staff of the Air Force with the rank of general.
In September 2009, the 28 NATO nations appointed Stéphane Abrial as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, located in Norfolk, Virginia, United States. He was the first non-American officer to be selected as one of the two NATO Strategic Commanders. He stayed in this position until September 28, 2012, at which point he retired from active duty.


Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Safran group has close to 60,000 employees and generated sales of 11.7 billion euros in 2011. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. The Group invests heavily in Research & Development to meet the requirements of changing markets, including expenditures of 1.3 billion euros in 2011. Safran is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index.

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