Canadian Manufacturing

Bombardier Aerospace CEO retires amid major restructuring

Guy Hachey took over Bombardier's Aerospace division in 2008 after 30 years in automotive



MONTREAL—Bombardier Aerospace president and CEO Guy Hachey is retiring after six years in the post amid a restructuring of operations that will result in the layoff of 1,800 employees.

Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. said its aerospace division will operate in three segments: business aircraft; commercial aircraft; and aerostructures and engineering services.

Each will be headed by an executive.

The railway segment based in Germany remains intact.

Hachey, 59, took over the aerospace division in 2008 following a 30-year career in the automotive industry with General Motors Co. (GM) and Delphi Automotive plc.

He left Bombardier this week as its new CSeries commercial aircraft remains grounded following an engine incident at the end of May.

The aircraft has undergone several delays and is now expected to be delivered in the second half of next year.

In a release issued July 23 after markets closed, Bombardier said Hachey was retiring “as a result” of the reorganization.

“Guy led Bombardier Aerospace during an important period in its history. I wish to thank him for his contributions over the past six years,” Bombardier CEO Pierre Beaudoin said in a terse, one-line comment.

Spokesperson Isabelle Rondeau declined to say how long the restructuring plans have been in the works and whether there was a disagreement between Hachey and the company that prompted the change.

“He’s retiring today,” she said repeatedly.

“We are changing the structure because the financial performance and execution have not met expectations and we want to have a lighter structure.”

Rondeau said the change isn’t the result of problems with the CSeries, nor should it be viewed as desperation by the transportation giant.

“It’s a new step in the evolution of Bombardier … We’ve invested in products and we really feel this new structure will allow us to be more agile, more flexible,” she said. “It will increase our focus on growth areas.”

Effective immediately, the heads of all segments will report to Beaudoin.

They are Lutz Bertling at Transportation, Eric Martel at business aircraft and Mike Arcamone at commercial aircraft.

The head of the new aerostructures and engineering services business segment will be appointed in the next few weeks.

This segment will focus existing efforts on the design and development of complex advanced composite and metallic aerostructures for all classes of civil aircraft, including fuselage, wings and engine nacelles.

Some aerospace functions and the customer services division will be absorbed into the three aerospace units, generating unspecified cost savings.

The new structure will be in place Jan. 1.

Rondeau said the change will result in the layoff of about 1,800 “indirect” functions such as finance and human resources, or 4.8 per cent of Aerospace’s global workforce of more than 37,000.

“It’s really spread everywhere,” she said. “Bombardier Aerospace worldwide, so it’s not just Montreal.”

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