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Younger generation takes over Bombardier

The Story

On Feb. 18, 1964, J. Armand Bombardier dies of cancer at age 56. He leaves behind a thriving business but also one that has been focussed around one person. Armand dominated his company, overseeing all areas of operation. He controlled the small research department, making all the drawings himself. Now the younger generation takes over and is lead by Armand's sons and sons-in-law. A new era is underway. The young team reorganizes and decentralizes the company, adopting modern business tactics. The company adopts the latest technological innovation -- the computer -- to handle inventory, accounts and billing. Distribution networks are improved and increased and an incentive program is developed for sales staff.

Medium: Radio
Program: Between Ourselves
Broadcast Date: April 12, 1967
Guest: John Hitherington
Duration: 5:33

Did You know?

• After her husband's death, Yvonne Bombardier refused lucrative offers by American corporations to buy the company. Yvonne said, "My husband's company was born in Canada and it's going to stay in Canada."
• J. Armand Bombardier groomed his son Germain to take over the company. Germain became president when his father died but quit two years later and sold his shares in the company. Germain cited health reasons for his departure but another explanation is that he did not agree with the expansion plans supported by other family members.

• In 1966, son-in-law Laurent Beaudoin became president of the company at age 27. Beaudoin is considered the business genius behind Bombardier and remained president and Chief Executive Officer until 1999.
• In 1967 Bombardier's board of directors had an average age of 34.



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