Canadian Manufacturing

Bombardier shuffles executives amid poor performance

Laurent Beaudoin is out as chairman, replaced by his son Pierre. Alain Bellemare named new CEO

MONTREAL—Bombardier Inc. chairman Laurent Beaudoin will be replaced by his son and Bombardier Aerospace division CEO Pierre Beaudoin. Alain Bellemare will move into the CEO position as major changes hit the troubled plane maker.

Bellemare has 18 years experience at United Technologies Corp., including at the Pratt and Whitney division that makes jet engines for Bombardier and other customers.

“We must improve profitability and realize the true potential of this great organization,” Bellemare said in a statement.

“I am thrilled to take on these new responsibilities and to join forces with Pierre Beaudoin and the rest of the senior management team.”

The changes came as the company lost $1.59 billion in its fourth quarter compared with a profit of $97 million a year ago. Revenue totalled $5.96 billion, up from $5.32 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The loss for the quarter included a $1.4-billion charge related to a pause of its Learjet 85 program announced last month.

Bombardier said it would suspend work on the new model of Learjet in order to preserve cash for other parts of the business.

A number of analysts said after the January announcement that investors had lost confidence in Bombardier’s management.

On Thursday, Bombardier announced that it will suspend dividend payments and will seek shareholder permission to issue up to C$2.5 billion in debt and new shares to bolster its cash reserves.

The company says the plan will be supported by the Bombardier-Beaudoin family, which has been led by Laurent Beaudoin for more than 50 years.

The company was founded by Pierre Beaudoin’s grandfather, a Quebec inventor best known for the Ski-Doo snowmobiles.

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