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Yoel Gat, Co-Founder of Gilat and SatixFy, Dies 

By Rachel Jewett | April 11, 2022

      Yoel Gat showing a SatixFy array at Small Sat Symposium in 2019. Photo: SatixFy

      Satellite industry veteran Yoel Gat died on April 8, SatixFy Communications announced Sunday. Gat was a 40-year veteran of the satellite industry and co-founded Gilat Satellite Networks, RaySat, and SatixFy. He was serving as co-chairman and CEO of SatixFy. 

      “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Yoel. He was a tremendous visionary and the driving force behind growing SatixFy to where it is today,” SatixFy co-founder Yoav Leibovitch said in a statement. “I personally have partnered with Yoel for over 30 years and will miss both his personal friendship and business partnership. He was a true entrepreneur, a creator of new companies, technologies and markets. We will continue to follow his vision as we take SatixFy to its next stage of growth.” 

      SatixFy is in the midst of going public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger announced March 8 that values the company at $813 million. Last fall, the company began a transition plan and has hired a new CEO, but has not announced the hire’s name yet. The new CEO is set to begin on June 26. Leibovitch will serve as interim CEO in the meantime. 

      In addition to his work on satellite technology, Gat was a prolific writer. He wrote a number of books, including “A Gun in a Battle of Knives,” which tells the history of Gilat. Last year, Gat spoke with Via Satellite about SatixFy’s work and his interest in writing in a Thursday Morning conversation video interview.

      Gilat released a statement on Twitter: “With the passing of Yoel Gat, we want to express our deepest condolences to his family. Yoel was a true leader, entrepreneur, and technologist who contributed greatly to the satellite industry and Israeli high-tech. May he rest in peace.”

      Dr. Craig Brown, vice president of Major Programmes for Satixfy UK shared this message with Via Satellite: “It’s clear from the hundreds of messages of condolence we are receiving from people around the world that Yoel made an enormous impact on the satcom industry. Yoel will be remembered for his ideas, his determination, his passion, and the disruptive technologies his companies introduced to the market. We are determined to deliver Yoel’s vision and legacy as we take SatixFy to the next level in the coming months and years.”