Bombardier outlines organizational overhaul; aerospace head departs

Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:07pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Bombardier Inc <BBDb.TO on Wednesday announced a major overhaul in its organizational structure and the departure of the head of its aerospace division amid struggles with its long-delayed CSeries jetliner program.

The Montreal-based company said it is now splitting its aerospace unit into three segments focused on business aircraft, commercial aircraft, and aerostructures and engineering services. The three units, along with Bombardier's rail-industry focused transportation unit, will all have separate heads reporting in to Chief Executive Officer Pierre Beaudoin.

It also said Bombardier Aerospace President and Chief Operating Officer Guy Hachey will retire.

"The new aerospace organizational structure will enable us to be more agile and flexible in addressing customer needs, while increasing our focus on growth areas," Beaudoin said in a statement.

The organizational shakeup comes as Bombardier continues to work on addressing some the issues that have stymied its CSeries program.

Bombardier's new jet family is a bet on cracking the 100- to 149-seat market but it pits the company against industry giants Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote) and Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote). Bombardier has touted the CSeries jet's superior fuel and operating efficiencies but has faced a number of obstacles and delays, including an engine failure that grounded its test aircraft in May.

The company said the new structure will be in place Jan. 1.

Hachey has in some ways been the face of the CSeries program for Bombardier, speaking with media and appearing at airshows, including the Farnborough International Airshow in England that ended last week.

Bombardier surprised many analysts and investors by securing a sizable number of orders for the CSeries at Farnborough, despite the aircraft not making an appearance at the airshow.   Continued...

A plane flies over a Bombardier plant in Montreal, January 21, 2014. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi