Bombardier Brings In New CFO, General Counsel
Bombardier, which is in the midst of a transition to a business aviation-focused company, is continuing to shuffle its senior leadership as it prepares the corporate transformation. In addition to bringing back Éric Martel earlier this year to shepherd the transition as president and CEO and the more recent departure of Bombardier Aviation president David Coleal, the company has now named a new CFO, as well as a new general counsel and corporate secretary.
Bombardier last week announced the immediate appointment as executive v-p and CFO of Bart Demosky, succeeding John Di Bert, who is leaving the company. Di Bert, who joined Bombardier in 2015 after 14 years with Pratt & Whitney, steered the company's finances through a difficult period.
During his time with Bombardier, it took on a transformation plan as it was weighed down with the debt of three major research and development projects—the C-Series airliners, Global 7500 ultra-long-range business jet, and Learjet 85 midsize business jet.
After scrapping the Learjet 85 and selling the C-Series program, Bombardier has been forced to unload its remaining non-business-aviation programs. The sale of the last of these programs—its rail business—to Alstom received regulatory approval last week and is now set to close on January 29.
Martel reported to investors in November that even with the sale Bombardier will still have $4.5 billion in debt, a jump from the original expectation of $2.25 billion that came with the Covid-19 pandemic.
While facing significant challenges in his new role, Demosky comes with a strong pedigree in managing large transportation and energy organizations. He has served as president and CEO of Universal Rail Systems, executive v-p and CFO for Canadian Pacific Railway, and CFO for Suncor Energy.
“Bart’s deep knowledge and expertise in all aspects of corporate finance will serve us well as we complete our strategic repositioning to a leaner, more focused company,” Martel said. ”I’m confident that Bart will provide strong leadership as we manage through the current economic challenges and continue to position Bombardier for the future.”
Meanwhile, also last week, the company named Annie Torkia Lagacé senior v-p, general counsel, and corporate secretary. She succeeds Steeve Robitaille, who is taking the position of senior v-p of strategic projects through the completion of the sale of Bombardier Transportation to Alstom.
Torkia Lagacé has more than 20 years of commercial and corporate law experience, most recently as executive v-p of Stornoway Diamonds and also as senior legal counsel for the Eastern Canadian Iron Ore division of Cliffs Natural Resources, among other roles.
“She is a proven leader with extensive experience in corporate governance, compliance, securities law, and supporting complex financial and strategic transactions,” Martel said. “Her vast experience, energy, and judgment will serve us well as we complete our strategic repositioning and focus on achieving the full potential of our industry-leading business aviation franchise.”
Martel credited Robitaille for spearheading the successful negotiations leading to the sales of Bombardier Transportation, the aerostructures business sale, and the regional aircraft business. “Notably, all of this was accomplished during one of the most challenging periods for the transportation industry,” he said. “With the strategic repositioning close to completion, Steeve has chosen to pursue new challenges outside the company and we wish him the very best in all his future endeavors.”