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Embraer CEO to step down ahead of deal with Boeing

(Adds details of announcement)

SAO PAULO, March 18 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA will step down next month, the company said on Monday, as it prepares to cede control of its commercial aviation division to Boeing Co for $4.2 billion.

Embraer CEO Paulo Cesar Silva will step down on April 22 and a new CEO will be announced by then, the company said.

Silva assumed the top position at Embraer in June 2016 as the company dealt with the fallout from a bribery investigation in the United States. Before becoming CEO, he led Embraer's commercial plane division.

"Paulo Cesar conceived of the partnership with Boeing and led the negotiating process of the transaction," Alexandre Silva, the chairman of Embraer's board, said in a statement.

Embraer has defended the Boeing tie-up as crucial to its long-term survival of the company, as Boeing and Airbus SE grab more market share and the aerospace supply chain consolidates.

Silva has been invited to become a consultant until the deal with Boeing officially closes, the company said. The deal still needs to be approved by regulators around the world. (Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun Editing by Bill Berkrot and Susan Thomas)