April 9, 2015 / 1:37 PM / 4 years ago

Man who led Bombardier CSeries program exits in new shuffle

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier Inc made the latest in a series of management shuffles on Thursday, saying commercial aircraft president Mike Arcamone, who has overseen the troubled CSeries jet program, will leave the company.

Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, speaks at a news conference to unveil the CSeries aircraft at its assembly facility in Mirabel, Quebec, March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

Fred Cromer, former president of aircraft leasing company International Lease Finance Corp, replaces Arcamone effective immediately. Bombardier said Arcamone, appointed president in 2012, was leaving to “pursue other interests”.

The company also said Chief Financial Officer Pierre Alary will retire, but will stay on until a successor is found.

“These changes will instill a fresh perspective at Bombardier, driving execution, alignment and intensity across the entire company,” the company said in a release.

Bombardier said it has hired consultants Plane View Partners, whose chairman, Henri Courpron, is a former Airbus executive, to review its commercial aircraft operations with the goal of improving performance.

Bombardier’s new CSeries narrow-body, medium-range passenger jet is nearing entry into service, but it is years late and billions over budget. The plane is in the midst of flight testing, and the company expects it to be certified by the end of this year.

Montreal-based Bombardier underwent a major shakeup in February, with Alain Bellemare replacing Pierre Beaudoin as chief executive, and the company suspending dividends and laying out plans to raise $2 billion.

“When a new CEO comes in, he’s going to look around and see who he has and if there’s a skill set missing,” said Robert Sharpe, portfolio manager at Heartland Advisors. “I’m not surprised that there’s been some subsequent changes.”

Heartland held 330,000 Bombardier shares as of Dec. 31, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Bellemare previously led two of United Technologies Corp’s main aerospace divisions, engine maker Pratt & Whitney and parts unit UTC Aerospace Systems.

Beaudoin, who became executive chairman when Bellemare was appointed chief executive, is part of Bombardier’s founding family, which still has a controlling stake in the company.

Bombardier shares edged up 0.4 percent to C$2.71 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Peter Galloway

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