Mark Dankberg takes helm as Viasat chairman and CEO
On June 29, Carlsbad, CA-based Viasat Inc. announced that, effective July 1, 2022, Mark Dankberg, Viasat’s co-founder and executive chairman, will resume the roles of chairman and CEO, while current President and CEO Rick Baldridge will assume a newly created vice chairman position.
Baldridge will focus on the remaining steps to closing the Inmarsat acquisition, and the organizational integration planning and execution strategy to position the combined companies to achieve the financial and operational objectives underpinning the transaction – including cost, capital, and revenue synergies already identified. The organization change follows Viasat’s recent overwhelming shareholder approval for the acquisition of Inmarsat. Baldridge will also continue to lead Viasat’s evaluations of strategic initiatives and certain ongoing organizational initiatives.
Baldridge’s new role also reflects the results of internal organizational planning and evolution over the past two years designed to scale Viasat internal operational responsibilities. Since co-founding Viasat in 1986, Dankberg has led Viasat’s growth, technology strategy and commercial operations over many years, and served as chairman and CEO from inception through 2020. Now, Dankberg will be supported in overseeing Viasat’s day-to-day operations by Kevin Harkenrider, a long time Viasat executive with experience in a broad range of operating roles who was promoted to chief operating officer in 2021.
Commenting on behalf of Viasat’s board of directors, Lead Independent Director Sean Pak stated, “Today’s moves allow us to optimize the contributions of Viasat’s foundational leaders in Mark and Rick, and reflect the company’s commitment to a thoroughly planned and executed integration with Inmarsat that will position us to achieve the financial and operational results enabled by the transaction. Through their close and selfless partnership Mark and Rick have created and led an exceptional management team that is delivering outstanding growth in the satellite industry.
“A combination of technology and strategy leadership in a rapidly growing and dynamic market, plus integration of the best aspects of Viasat’s and Inmarsat’s executive, operational, and go-to-market skills will be required to achieve our objectives. Beyond Mark and Rick, we are confident in the broad management bench strength at the company as we capitalize on our compelling combination of spectrum, licenses, space and ground assets, our existing talent, and the new talent brought by the Inmarsat transaction and distribution to build a global communications leader.”
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