David McGlade joined Intelsat as CEO in April 2005, following the company’s acquisition by a group of private equity firms. Since then, McGlade led the acquisition of PanAmSat and guided Intelsat through its own acquisition by a group of investors led by BC Partners.
With the integration of PanAmSat’s assets nearly complete and Intelsat under stable ownership, McGlade, a 25-year veteran of the telecommunications and media industry, can begin the hard work of shaping Intelsat to compete in today’s competitive and continually changing communications landscape.
"There’s a lot of excitement in the industry now. You see a difficult economic environment at a macro level around the world, and we’re still performing well. I’ve even coined the term recession resistant. But we can’t get caught up in that overexuberance, and for us its about being a smart company. Grow where we can but make sure that we don’t get back into this boom-bust phase that we’ve seen before."
McGlade discusses Intelsat’s transformation and his plans for the company with Via Satellite Editor Jason Bates.
VIA SATELLITE: What is the status of the integration?
McGlade: The integration is virtually complete at this point. We expect to complete the final step by the end of the year — moving the last three satellites operated by our West Coast Operations Center to our Washington Satellite Operations Center. I’m glad we’re beyond integration. It is now about running the business and taking Intelsat to the next level. We would like to build even closer relationships with our customers, aligning our plans with theirs and delivering better customer service. It is all about continuous improvement.
VIA SATELLITE: Have you met the financial goals set prior to the PanAmSat acquisition?
McGlade: We had committed that we would have a certain amount of operating and capital expense savings, and that is occurring, so everything that we promised, plus some, has occurred and is now benefiting our current shareholders.
VIA SATELLITE: How should observers view the executive changes taking place at Intelsat?
McGlade: Some of the changes are natural, given the change in ownership, and some are upgrades that bring the company to a higher performance level. I am extremely pleased that Intelsat has the bench strength with executives ready to step into these roles. Stephen Spengler Intelsat’s new Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, and Thierry Guillemin Intelsat’s Senior Vice President & Chief Technical Officer, along with Kay Sears, Intelsat General’s new President — each bring more than 20 years experience to Intelsat. Overall, I think the team is flourishing. It most definitely allows our senior management to showcase the outstanding talent available in our company. I love the idea of promoting people from within — it is an opportunity for our management team to grow and with that energy comes creativity.