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Satellite veteran Mark Rigolle appointed CEO amid ABS upheaval 



Satellite veteran Mark Rigolle appointed CEO amid ABS upheaval 

TAMPA, Fla. — Satellite tv for pc business veteran Mark Rigolle is taking the helm of ABS after Amit Somani’s sudden departure early this 12 months within the newest shake-up for the Dubai-based regional satellite tv for pc operator, the corporate introduced April 16.

Rigolle, most not too long ago chief working officer for the proposed Rivada House Networks low Earth orbit constellation (LEO), will be part of ABS as CEO April 29.

Incoming ABS CEO Mark Rigolle. Credit score: ABS

Somani left in January after lower than two years with ABS for private causes, the corporate mentioned, which not too long ago modified its title from Asia Broadcast Satellite tv for pc to Agility Past House after shifting headquarters from Hong Kong.

Somani had joined from Yahsat, a regional satellite tv for pc operator additionally primarily based within the United Arab Emirates.

ABS introduced its rebranding in October 2023, saying it mirrored a push towards constructing strategic, long-term relationships within the business after not too long ago coming underneath new possession.

The geostationary satellite tv for pc operator has not introduced its new possession construction and didn’t reply to requests for remark. 

British personal fairness agency Permira, which purchased a majority stake in ABS in 2010 and first tried to promote the corporate about six years later, lists the operator as offered on its web site however didn’t present particulars concerning the deal.

In its newest earnings outcomes Jan. 10, when ABS introduced Somani’s departure, the corporate mentioned it recorded growing income from gross sales to different operators with satellites reaching the tip of their design life. 

The corporate didn’t element these preparations. Whole gross sales got here in flat at $69 million for the 12 months to Sept. 30.

ABS chair Parm Sandhu mentioned within the earnings launch that the corporate is in lively partnership talks concerning its spectrum rights protecting Europe, the Center East, Africa and Asia Pacific “to unlock the hidden worth in our holdings,” together with two orbital slots with permission to beam navy Ka-band radio waves.

ABS offers connectivity and broadband providers over these areas with 5 satellites: ABS-2, ABS-2A, ABS-3A, ABS-4/Mobisat-1 and ABS-6.

Based in 2006, the operator additionally moved firm accounts from Bermuda to the UAE as a part of its technique refresh. 

Going by means of adjustments

Somani joined ABS as CEO in October 2022 to exchange James Frownfelter, who took over from Jim Simpson in 2018 when he left after only a 12 months within the position.

Rigolle’s profession has additionally seen its justifiable share of adjustments. Earlier than Rivada, he served because the chief monetary officer for SES and was CEO of its medium Earth constellation O3b Networks. 

He additionally co-founded regional geostationary satellite tv for pc operator Kacific and was CEO of LEO startup LeoSat till its collapse following a scarcity of funding.

“The distinctive breadth of his expertise in our business will allow him to hit the bottom operating,” Sandhu mentioned in an announcement.

“We stay up for benefiting from his management and from his insights into multi-orbit constellations throughout this time of speedy market evolution.” 

Rigolle famous he was becoming a member of ABS “at this pivotal time for the corporate and certainly the entire [fixed satellite services] business,” as geostationary gamers face mounting competitors from SpaceX’s sprawling LEO community.

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