Tony Navarra. Credit: Globalstar photo

PONTE VEDRA, Florida — Mobile satellite services provider Globalstar Inc. on Aug. 21 said Anthony J. “Tony” Navarra would retire in October after more than 20 years with the company.

Navarra, the company’s president of space operations, has been what several Globalstar partners and suppliers said was the indispensable engineering face of the company as it walked a knife-edge to secure financing and deployment of its 24-satellite second-generation constellation, which is now in orbit. Along the way, the company cut staff and moved from California to Covington, Louisiana, to take advantage of government financial incentives.

“There were periods of extreme stress when Globalstar was at risk of losing its supplier base because of the financial issues,” one Globalstar partner said. “During all this time, Tony was there to make sure the pieces were kept together, the contracts were maintained and the constellation was built. Without him and his calm, even when things were tense, the project might well have collapsed.”

Globalstar Chairman Jay Monroe, whose personal and family fortune has kept Globalstar afloat, said in a statement: “Tony has been a fixture at Globalstar. He and his colleagues defined the very architecture and implementation of our network. He led groups that recently completed Globalstar’s $1 billion second-generation constellation. We have relied on Tony for more than two decades. He has graciously agreed to stay through Oct. 2 to transition his day-to-day responsibilities and, as importantly, will remain with us for the next year as a consultant.”

Peter B. de Selding was the Paris bureau chief for SpaceNews.