When contemplating the challenges posed by the eurozone debt crisis, Hans Peter Ring, CFO of EADS, draws comfort from the aerospace and defense giant's performance since 2008. "A major achievement of the last few years is that the company proved to be resilient throughout the financial crisis," Ring says. "We anticipated the downturn before the financial crisis started and tried to prepare ourselves as well as we could. As a result, we went through the crisis in such a way that we didn't feel the crisis internally—we didn't suffer on our top line and we didn't suffer in terms of deliveries. That was the first time that we've achieved that during a downturn."

Ring should know—he has had a long career at EADS. He joined a predecessor company, Dasa, in 1990 after 13 years at German aerospace company MBB. At EADS, which stands for European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., Ring has held the CFO post since 2002 and also served as CFO for Airbus, the company's aircraft manufacturing unit, from 2007 to 2008.

While EADS was formed in 2000 from the merger of French, German and Spanish businesses, the company is registered in the Netherlands and comprises four divisions: Airbus; Astrium, a space company; Cassidian, which provides solutions for the armed forces and civil security; and Eurocopter, a helicopter manufacturer. Ring is based in the company's German headquarters near Munich.

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