ABS picks Jim Simpson as CEO


WASHINGTON — Jim Simpson, a former Boeing executive who helped arrange an all-electric satellite purchase with fleet operator ABS in 2012, will become ABS’s new chief executive, the company announced today.

Simpson joined Bermuda-based ABS on Dec. 18, spokesperson Ivy Lui told SpaceNews, succeeding Tom Choi, the operator’s co-founder, who remains an ABS Board member and shareholder.

After a 35-year career at Boeing, Simpson retired, then moved to Aerojet Rocketdyne where he worked for two years as senior vice president for strategy and business development. His focus there included propulsion and power systems for satellites, rockets and defense products.

Two of the satellites in ABS’s six-satellite fleet — ABS-2A and ABS-3A — came from a four-satellite Boeing order split between ABS and Satmex, the latter of which is now Eutelsat Americas. The satellites launched in 2015 and 2016 on SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets, saving mass thanks to their electric propulsion systems to launch two at a time paired with Satmex satellites to halve launch costs.

“I was part of the historical purchase of the all-electric 702SP satellites that are now key assets for our current and future growth,” Simpson said in a Dec. 21 prepared statement. “I want to build upon and extend the legacy that the company has created as we move into the next chapter of ABS. I look forward to leading our efforts to further strengthen and grow ABS through a focus on greater execution, creation of strategic partnerships, and further penetration into new markets and products.”