Steve Collar, the CEO of multi-orbit satellite operator SES, has announced he will step down from his position at the end of the month.
Steve Collar, the CEO of multi-orbit satellite operator SES, has announced he will step down from his position at the end of the month, and will be succeeded by Ruy Pinto, SES's chief technology officer and former chief operating officer at Inmarsat, until a permanent replacement is found.
Collar's departure is driven by his desire to pursue other professional and personal endeavors, although no specific details were provided. Despite his resignation, Collar has expressed his commitment to supporting a smooth transition and will remain fully available to the company beyond June 30.
The news of Collar's departure had an immediate impact on SES's share price, which dropped more than 16% since the announcment and is currently trading at just over 4.60 euros. SES shares have seen a decline for most of 2023, falling approximately 40% compared to their value a year ago. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, SES shares were trading above 12 euros, but market disruptions and reduced demand for mobile connectivity in industries such as cruise affected their performance.
Collar assumed the role of CEO in 2018 after leading SES's connectivity-focused division, which has become increasingly vital for the company as satellite TV usage declines. Previously, he served as the CEO of O3b Networks, a medium Earth orbit (MEO) broadband operator that SES fully acquired in 2016 to enhance its geostationary fleet with lower latency services.
SES currently operates over 70 satellites across MEO and geostationary orbit.
The company has plans to launch initial services this summer through its upgraded MEO network, including two additional O3b mPower satellites. However, the launch has been delayed, as the satellites are still undergoing tests at Boeing's manufacturing facilities in El Segundo, California, before being transported to SpaceX's launchpad in Florida. An updated launch window has not yet been provided by SES.
The O3b mPower satellites, designed to provide multiple gigabits per second of throughput, are being integrated with SES's existing 20 first-generation O3b satellites in MEO. The second pair of satellites from the April 28 launch are currently in the orbit-raising phase as expected.
Collar's departure coincides with discussions about a potential merger between SES and rival Intelsat.