Bombardier Inc. is making major changes in its top ranks as the aircraft maker deals with problems in its aerospace division.

Longtime chairman Laurent Beaudoin, a member of the family that has controlled the company since it was founded, will be replaced by his son Pierre Beaudoin, who has been chief executive.

The company's new CEO will be Alain Bellemare, effective Friday, which is also the date set for Laurent Beaudoin to step aside as chairman.

Bellemare has 18 years experience at United Technologies Corp., including at the Pratt and Whitney division that makes jet engines for Bombardier. Bellemare says they must improve profitability.

The world's third-largest maker of commercial aircraft last month wrote down value of its Learjet 85 program, resulting in a pretax charge of about US$1.4 billion.