Bombardier has announced that Steve Ridolfi, the president of Bombardier Business Jets, will be replaced with Eric Martel in the New Year. Ridolfi will become senior vice-president of strategy and mergers and acquisitions, reporting directly to Bombardier President and Chief Executive Officer Pierre Beaudoin, according to the Globe and Mail. Martel currently heads up the company's water bomber division and customer services. Bombardier CEO Guy Hachey said Ridolfi, who represented the company at NBAA in Las Vegas last month, "has made countless contributions to Aerospace throughout his career." The still-dominant business aircraft division is showing some signs of strain and Gulfstream is threatening to take over the Canadian company's position as the world's highest-earning manufacturer of business aircraft.
There have been delays in numerous programs, including its Learjet division's 85, 75 and 70 models, and Dassault has added a new competitor to the ultra-long-range market that Bombardier has feasted on in recent year with its 5X, which was introduced at NBAA. Bombardier's challenges are not restricted to the business aircraft division. The much-delayed CSeries has only flown three times since its inaugural flight on Sept. 17 and that's raising questions about even more delays with the program.