Plane maker Bombardier’s chairman bows to pressure and quits

The Canadian company's executive chairman and member of its founding family Pierre Beaudoin has fallen from major shareholder's favour and has agreed to leave the post.

A bombardier CSseries passenger jet. The company's executive chairman will step down. Clement Sabourin / AFP
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The Canadian plane maker Bombardier said its executive chairman Pierre Beaudoin will step down, following shareholder outcry over controversial executive pay hikes, although it reported a smaller than expected adjusted net loss.

Mr Beaudoin – a former chief executive and a scion of aircraft and train manufacturer Bombardier’s founding family, which controls the company through its dual-class share structure – will continue to serve as non-executive chairman.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the country’s largest pension fund manager, withheld its vote for the re-election of Mr Beaudoin at Bombardier’s annual meeting on Thursday.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) also withheld its vote on his re-election on Tuesday, echoing similar moves by Quebec and British Columbia funds.

Mr Beaudoin agreed to forgo the pay hike and other executives agreed to defer.

Strength in the company’s train-making unit helped the company report a smaller than expected adjusted net loss.

Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes in the company’s transportation, or rail, business jumped to US$134 million in the first quarter from $23m, a year earlier.

The company’s order intake in the business rose 83.3 per cent to $2.2 billion in the three months ended March 31.

Adjusted net loss attributable to Bombardier shareholders was $1m, smaller than analysts’ estimate for a loss of $22.8m, according to Reuters.

On a per share adjusted basis, the company broke even. Analysts on average had estimated a 1 cent loss.

Montreal-headquartered Bombardier reported an 8.6 per cent fall in revenue to $3.58bn, missing estimates of $3.84bn.

* Reuters

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