Re­gain­ing Al­ti­tude

Forbes - - Strategies -

af­ter blow­ing bil­lions de­vel­op­ing a new jet to com­pete with air­bus and boe­ing, bom­bardier al­most crashed and burned. now an out­sider has taken charge and pulled the Cana­dian com­pany out of its tail­spin—but can he get back up to cruis­ing speed?

Late on a Thurs­day in Jan­uary 2015, Alain Belle­mare was sit­ting in his of­fice at United Tech­nolo­gies in Hart­ford, plot­ting his next move. Then 53 years old, he had been passed over for CEO, and the com­pany had just an­nounced that af­ter­noon he was quit­ting his job as head of the con­glom­er­ate’s aero­space divi­sion when he got a call from his fel­low Mon­treal na­tive and long­time friend Pierre Beau­doin, the CEO of Bom­bardier.

Beau­doin said he was fac­ing a cri­sis. His fa­ther, Lau­rent, had trans­formed the Cana­dian com­pany from a re­gional snow­mo­bile maker into a rail gi­ant and, more re­cently, an aero­space ter­rier nip­ping at the heels of Boe­ing and Air­bus, mak­ing their fam­ily a multi­bil­lion for­tune in the process. But Pierre had reached too far with the Cseries air­craft, the first plane Bom­bardier was de­vel­op­ing en­tirely in-house, aimed at a mar­ket niche some­where be­tween a re-

By Jeremy Bo­gaisky

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