Changes at the top for Intelsat, Eutelsat

Changes at the top for Intelsat, EutelsatIntelsat, the Virginia-based communications satellite services provider that was formerly an intergovernmental consortium, has announced the planned retirement of Stephen Spengler.

He has served as CEO for the last six and a half years, having worked at Intelsat for 18 years.

With Intelsat having emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy ahead of 5G spectrum changes, he will stay in position to complete the financial restructuring process, says the company.

“We are nearing the conclusion of our restructuring with enhanced financial strength and are ideally positioned to embark on an exciting new business strategy for the next generation of 5G network connectivity,” said Spengler. “This is the right moment to make my retirement plans clear so that work can begin on identifying a new leader for the long term.”

Egon Zehnder, an executive search firm, is to lead the search process for his replacement.


Eutelsat Communications, the Paris-based satellite operator, has also announced that CEO Rodolphe Belmer has notified its board of directors of his intention to step down at the beginning of 2022. He has been CEO for more than five years, since March 2016.

The official statement from the company gave no reason for the departure or his future plans. It simply said the process of recruiting a successor “will begin immediately”.

“Rodolphe has made a fantastic contribution to the development of Eutelsat during his more than five years at its helm, putting the company on the strong financial and strategic footing on which it finds itself today,” said Dominique D’Hinnin, Chairman of the Board of Eutelsat.

“It has been my great personal pleasure to work alongside Rodolphe, and I thank him warmly for his contribution to Eutelsat on behalf of the entire Board. We are fully focused on finding a successor to Rodolphe who will continue to lead the company on this strategic path.”

Earlier this month, the company confirmed it had rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from the telecoms billionaire Patrick Drahi.

It also recently increased its holding in OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company. Exercising a call option, for $165 million, it took its shareholding from 17.6% to 22.9% of the constellation-building venture.

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