Canadian Manufacturing

Bombardier taps former Pratt & Whitney Canada exec John Di Bert as new CFO

Transport giant adds another aerospace veteran to top leadership



MONTRÉAL—Bombardier’s international search for a successor to longtime CFO Pierre Alary, is over. The company has announced the appointment of John Di Bert as senior vice-president and CFO effective Aug. 10, 2015.

“I’m very pleased to announce the appointment of John Di Bert as our new CFO”, Alain Bellemare, president and CEO of Bombardier, said. “John is an accomplished operations finance executive. Throughout his career, he has driven multiple optimization initiatives both in periods of growth and consolidation. He is recognized for his disciplined project management approach and his unique ability to improve the performance of high-tech manufacturing companies in terms of cash and profitability.

“His team leadership, results orientation and capacity to dig into the business to identify opportunities will certainly be key assets as we embark on our transformation,” Bellemare added.

Prior to joining Bombardier, Mr. Di Bert spent the past 14 years at aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada, most recently as vice-president of customer service. He also served as vice-president of finance from 2007 to 2013. Bombardier noted that in this position he designed, developed and implemented various company-wide initiatives that helped maintain sound financial performance while P&WC was launching critical strategic investments. He oversaw a balance sheet optimization plan that drove sustainable annual cash flow performance over a seven-year period. Additionally, as corporate controller, Di Bert elaborated a foreign currency hedging policy and program that integrated risk management, cash management, financial planning and financial accounting requirements.

Earlier in his career, Di Bert worked at Rolls-Royce Canada as manager of financial accounting and reporting, and at KPMG as senior auditor for major clients including manufacturing, retail and distribution companies. Di Bert is a chartered accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Graduate Diploma in Accountancy from Concordia University in Montréal.

The transition comes at a critical time for Bombardier. With the possibility of more delays to programs in its aerospace division and the likely loss of a speculated aircraft order, the company’s share price plunged to a 22-year low last week. Di Bert will add further aerospace expertise, replacing Alary, whose background was rooted in Bombardier’s Transportation division.

In a statement, Bellemare thanked Alary for his 17 years of service to the company, noting the central role he played in the events that marked Bombardier’s recent history.

“I wish him a well-deserved retirement and quality time with his family and friends,” he said.

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