Mark Rigolle’s Satellite Splash: ABS’s New CEO Makes Waves in the Industry!

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The satellite industry is abuzz with the latest news of Mark Rigolle, a seasoned veteran in the field, stepping into the role of CEO at ABS. Rigolle’s appointment follows the unexpected departure of Amit Somani earlier this year, setting the stage for a new era at the Dubai-based regional satellite operator.


Somani’s departure, attributed to personal reasons, came after a relatively brief stint of less than two years with ABS. The company, previously known as Asia Broadcast Satellite and now rebranded as Agility Beyond Space, recently made headlines by relocating its headquarters from Hong Kong. This strategic move signals ABS’s shift towards forging stronger, long-term relationships in the industry under new ownership.

While ABS has not disclosed its new ownership structure, it has been listed as sold by British private equity firm Permira, which acquired a majority stake in the company in 2010. Despite this change, ABS continues to demonstrate financial resilience, with its latest earnings report highlighting increasing revenue from sales to other operators, totaling $69 million for the year to Sept. 30.

Expanding Horizons: ABS’s Strategic Spectrum Rights Discussions

Parm Sandhu, ABS’s chair, has underscored the company’s ongoing partnership discussions regarding its spectrum rights, covering key regions such as Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. ABS currently operates five satellites—ABS-2, ABS-2A, ABS-3A, ABS-4/Mobisat-1, and ABS-6—and provides crucial connectivity and broadband services across these regions.

Boeing engineers work on ABS-3A, the world’s first all-electric commercial telecommunications spacecraft that launched in 2015. Credit: Boeing

Rigolle’s appointment comes at a pivotal moment for ABS, as the satellite industry grapples with mounting competition and rapid technological advancements. His impressive track record, which includes leadership roles at SES and O3b Networks, positions him as a formidable leader to navigate ABS through these challenges. With SpaceX’s sprawling LEO network posing a formidable threat to traditional geostationary players, Rigolle’s appointment is seen as a strategic move to steer ABS towards continued growth and innovation.

The appointment of Mark Rigolle as CEO heralds a new chapter for ABS, characterized by resilience, adaptability, and a commitment to driving industry evolution. As ABS embraces this new chapter under Rigolle’s leadership, the company is poised to thrive amidst the ever-changing satellite landscape, ensuring its continued success and relevance in the global market.

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