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More Bombardier executive reshuffling as CSeries still grounded

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Another Bombardier Inc commercial aircraft executive has left the company, the plane and train maker confirmed on Tuesday, the latest move following a major restructuring announcement last month involving its aerospace division.

Montreal-based Bombardier, which has struggled with long delays and slow orders for its ambitious, multibillion dollar CSeries jetliner program, said it has appointed Ross Mitchell to replace aerospace executive, Philippe Poutissou, who left earlier this week.

A spokesman said Mitchell, a company veteran, is assuming the role of vice president of business acquisitions, effective immediately. Poutissou was vice president of marketing for the commercial aircraft division.

The move comes less than a month after Bombardier said it will cut 1,800 jobs and split its aerospace division into three separate units that report directly to Chief Executive Officer Pierre Beaudoin: business aircraft, commercial aircraft and aerostructures and engineering services.

"Since then, there's been a lot of movement within the company," said spokesman Marc Duchesne. "There could be more."

Aerospace President Guy Hachey, often the face of the CSeries, also retired at the time of the restructuring announcement in July.

Last year, Bombardier replaced Chet Fuller, head salesman for the CSeries. Gary Scott, head of Bombardier's commercial plane unit and a champion of the CSeries program, retired in 2011.

Bombardier hopes the CSeries, which claims superior operating and fuel efficiencies, will win a sizeable portion of the 100- to 149-seat jet market, but many airlines are taking a wait-and-see stance as it undergoes flight tests.

The completely new jet family will compete with the smaller commercial planes made by aerospace giants, Boeing Co and Airbus Group NV. It was supposed to enter commercial service around the end of 2013, but that is now slated for the second half of 2015.

The CSeries has been grounded since late May, however, following an engine failure. The company has repeatedly said the test planes will resume flying in the "coming weeks", but on Tuesday, Duchesne only said that Bombardier was still working with United Technology Corp's engine maker Pratt & Whitney and that things were going well and "moving in the right direction."

Duchesne declined to comment on reports that a commercial operations director also left the company. The executive shuffle was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Mitchell, who has nearly 20 years of experience in sales with Bombardier's commercial and business aircraft units, was most recently the regional vice president for sales in Europe. He moves from Munich, Germany, to Toronto's Downsview facility, which makes the company's Q400 turboprop planes.

(Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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