Longtime chairman Laurent Beaudoin — a member of the family that has controlled the company since it was founded — will be replaced by his son Pierre Beaudoin, who has been chief executive.
The company's new CEO will be Alain Bellemare, effective Friday.
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.
Bombardier has already signalled that its aerospace division is under pressure, announcing last month that it would suspend work on a new model of Learjet in order to preserve cash for other parts of the business.
Bombardier announced Thursday that it will suspend dividend payments and will seek shareholder permission to issue up to C$2.5 billion of securities 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.