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European aerospace giant EADS said Wednesday it had proposed that Denis Ranque, the former head of French firm Thales, should be its next chairman, adding that a final decision will be taken next month.
A statement said the issue will be voted at a special meeting in Amsterdam on March 27 when EADS shareholders will be asked to approve a new chair and board of directors.
The 61-year-old Ranque was chief executive of Thales, the aerospace and defence company, from 1998 to 2009.
Current EADS chairman Arnaud Lagardere is expected to step down in March to focus his industrial and media group Lagardere on media and sports holdings.
The French government was keen that the former boss of nuclear group Areva, Anne Lauvergeon, should get the chairman's post, according to media reports.
Aside from Lauvergeon, the other French candidate in line for the top job is former European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet.
EADS shareholders will next month also be asked to approve a new governance structure for the company that its German chief executive Tom Enders hailed in December as "the most important change" since its establishment in 2000.