Bombardier appoints Recreational Products president

MONTREAL – In an abrupt change of leadership direction, Bombardier Inc. has appointed Jose Boisjoli to be the president of its Recreational Products Division the company reported in a statement issued yesterday afternoon.

Boisjoli, the president of the division’s snowmobile, personal watercraft and ATV operations since 1998, replaces Michel Baril, who, the company says, “has chosen to leave the Corporation to pursue other interests.”

The changes are effective immediately and have the approval of the group buying the Recreational Products Division, according to the parent company.

Boisjoli, 46, is a 15-year veteran of Bombardier, and President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Tellier said his experience and knowledge of the business “make him the ideal candidate for ensuring an harmonious transition.”

Bombardier Inc. announced in August that it reached an agreement to sell the Recreational Products Division, which also includes the Johnson and Evinrude outboard engine assembly operation in Wisconsin and a jetboat production plant in Illinois, to an investor group including the descendants of company founder Joseph-Armand Bombardier.

The Bombardier descendants include Laurent Beaudoin, the parent company’s chairman, and his son, Pierre, who heads the parent company’s Aerospace Division.

During August, Bombardier Inc. officials speculated that the sale of the recreational products division would be completed by “mid-fall.” Now, industry sources, who did not want to be quoted by name, believe the transaction will be finalized in December.

During his tenure with Bombardier, Baril led the Ski-Doo division to launch the REV chassis, a snowmobile platform with a revolutionary motorcycle-styled seating position and enough appeal to help lead the company to market leadership. More recently, the company, under Baril’s guidance, began the push to promote its latest technological innovation, the E-Tec Evinrude outboard.

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–Jeff Kurowski

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