Arianespace CEO Stephane Israel

PARIS — Commercial launch services provider Arianespace on April 18 named Stephane Israel, now in a French government ministry and formerly with Arianespace’s biggest industrial shareholder, EADS, as chief executive, effective April 22.

Israel replaces Jean-Yves Le Gall, who after a decade at Evry, France-based Arianespace has been appointed president of the French space agency, CNES, which is Arianespace’s biggest single shareholder.

Le Gall, in an April 18 statement, said he was pleased that the Arianespace board had unanimously accepted his recommendation of Israel as his successor.

Israel spent time in the Cabinet of former EADS co-chief executive Louis Gallois before taking positions at Astrium Space Transportation, the prime contractor for the Ariane 5 rocket, and at Astrium Services.

In May 2012 he was named chief of staff to the French Minister for Industrial Renewal.

Peter B. de Selding was the Paris Bureau Chief for SpaceNews.