Arianespace Restructured to Become SAS
Arianespace shareholders voted unanimously to convert the launch operator to a Simplified Joint-Stock (SAS) company at its annual general meeting held in Paris. The modification aims to streamline and modernize Arianespace’s governance to achieve greater responsiveness, facilitate relationships with industrial prime contractors, and be coherent with the new shareholder structure of Arianespace’s holding company, Arianespace Participation.
The new legal form also comes with changes to the governance of Arianespace, allowing for more cohesive working coordination between the launch operator and its parent company. With these changes, Airbus Safran Launchers Chief Executive Officer Alain Charmeau becomes chairman of the board of directors of Arianespace Participation. Stephane Israel, CEO of both Arianespace and Arianespace Participation, and our Satellite Executive of the Year for 2016, joins the executive committee of Airbus Safran Launchers as director of Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 commercial launcher programs. Alain Charmeau had held this position provisionally.
“This evolution in governance is consistent with the steps taken since 2014 to streamline the European launcher industry. It places the entire industrial organization of Ariane 5, from production to marketing, under the sole responsibility of Stephane Israel, while preparing for the optimal development, production and commercialization of Ariane 6 for the benefit of Arianespace’s customers,” said Charmeau.
The companies involved submitted the change to the European Space Agency (ESA) on March 16 after being approved by Arianespace staff representatives in February. Airbus Safran Launchers has held a 74 percent stake in Arianespace since last December.