Bombardier Inc. says it has awarded a six-year contract with IBM worth about $700 million to improve its information technology operations in its rail and aerospace operations.

The Montreal-based company says the deal spans 47 countries and is expected to generate savings and improve Bombardier's global IT organization.

"As part of our turnaround plan, Bombardier is working to improve productivity, reduce costs and grow earnings," said chief information officer Sean Terriah.

The deal comes less than a week after Pierre Beaudoin said he would relinquish his role as Bombardier's executive chairman on June 30, but remain non-executive chairman of the board of directors.

Alain Bellemare, who replaced Beaudoin as CEO in February 2015, will remain in place.

Beaudoin had been a focal point of public anger and shareholder frustration over the issue of executive compensation and his announcement followed a building torrent of shareholder dissatisfaction over the company's leadership at the executive level.