Long-time United Technologies executive Alain Bellemare will replace Pierre Beaudoin as president and CEO of Bombardier in a surprise management shakeup that will also see Laurent Beaudoin retire as chairman after more than 50 years at the helm. Effective February 13, Pierre Beaudoin becomes executive chairman of the board, while his father assumes the honorary title of chairman emeritus. Bellemare also joins the Bombardier board.
The changes come as Bombardier unveiled a new financing plan that will see it access capital markets for up to $1.5 billion in debt and $600 million in equity and explore the possibility of participating in “industry consolidation” to reduce its debt. It also announced it would suspend dividend payments.
The plans amount to an effort to address the company’s weakening cash position resulting from delays and associated cost increases related to the CSeries airliner program. Last year the company’s available short-term capital resources fell from $4.8 billion to $3.8 billion as of December 31, while cash and cash equivalents dropped from $3.4 billion to $2.5 billion.
On Thursday Bombardier released financial results that showed a fourth-quarter loss of $1.2 billion, compared with earnings (EBIT) of $185 million during the same period a year earlier. Bombardier Aerospace contributed a negative EBIT of $1.3 billion, compared with a $93 million gain during the same period in 2013.