Spiwak stepping down as head of Boeing Satellite Systems

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PARIS — Mark Spiwak is retiring as head of Boeing Satellite Systems International at the end of November.

Spiwak, who took over Boeing’s satellite division in mid-2014, is going out on a high note for Boeing. On Monday, satellite fleet operator SES announced that it had selected Boeing over incumbent Thales Alenia Space to build seven satellites for a new constellation called O3b mPower.

The win was a big victory for Boeing in a year that so far has seen just four orders industry wide for geostationary communications satellites (One of those orders, for the Kacific-1/JCSAT-18 “condosat,” went to Boeing in February).

It was also payback, of sorts. In June, Inmarsat chose Thales Alenia Space to build its fifth Global Xpress Ka-band broadband satellite instead of sticking with Boeing.

Spiwak’s retirement from Boeing was announced during a Boeing-sponsored awards luncheon at World Satellite Business Week here Wednesday. He told SpaceNews afterwards his departure had been in the works for a while and that he was happy to be leaving his employer of 30-plus years on a high note.

“Mic drop,” he said.