BUSINESS

Another Surprise Shakeup At Bombardier: Head Of Commercial Aircraft Replaced

04/09/2015 10:52 EDT | Updated 06/09/2015 05:59 EDT
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MONTREAL - The new chief executive of Bombardier Inc. is bringing in another outsider with extensive industry experience to be the company's new president for commercial aircraft, which sells the Q400, CRJ and CSeries planes to airlines.

Long-time Bombardier executive Mike Arcamone was replaced Thursday by Fred Cromer, who was most recently president of International Lease Finance Corp., which is a major buyer of commercial aircraft.

Prior to his six years as president of ILFC, Cromer has held positions at several U.S. airlines.

"His strong leadership skills, international network and deep understanding of the aviation industry are a perfect match for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, as we are preparing to realize the true market potential of our new CSeries aircraft, while refocusing on our Q400 and CRJ programs," Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare said Thursday.

Arcamone's departure — and pending retirement of Bombardier's chief financial officer Pierre Alary after a transition — comes as Bombardier makes major management changes, including the sudden installation of Bellemare as CEO in mid-February.

Bellemare is a former executive from United Technologies Corp., including at the Pratt and Whitney division that makes jet engines for Bombardier and other customers. Bellemare joined Bombardier as it announced fourth-quarter results on Feb. 12, including a $1.59 billion loss attributed mostly to the company's Learjet 85 program for non-airline customers.

Bellemare replaced Pierre Beaudoin who, in turn, replaced his father Laurent Beaudoin as chairman of the company after investors expressed a lack of confidence in the way Bombardier's management was handling the CSeries program — a multibillion-dollar project.

Bellemare also announced Thursday that Bombardier will be getting strategic advice from a company headed by former ILFC chief executive Henri Courpron, a former president and CEO of Airbus North America, who has a mandate to review of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft's operations.

"Having Fred and Henri on board gives us a strategic edge like we've never had before," Bellemare said.

"We are really paving the way to strengthen our existing commercial programs and to make the CSeries aircraft a phenomenal success."

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