SES absorbs SES Networks in streamlining effort

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TAMPA, Fla. — Satellite operator SES is absorbing its SES Networks business unit ahead of deploying its next-generation O3b mPOWER broadband constellation this year. 

The Luxembourg-based company said Jan. 18 that SES Network’s CEO, John-Paul Hemingway, will become SES’s chief strategy and product officer under the reorganization.

The position is a newly created role to oversee the company’s growth strategy in both its broadband and video markets.

It comes after SES Video was similarly integrated into the company in 2020, following the retirement of that business unit’s CEO Ferdinand Kayser.

SES Networks was formed in 2016 as part of the company’s acquisition of O3b Networks, which added a layer of medium Earth orbit (MEO) satellites to SES’s constellation in geostationary orbit. 

The company has invested heavily in data and connectivity markets in the years that followed, amid a gradual and secular decline in satellite TV trends.

Boeing is currently building 11 O3b mPOWER satellites to upgrade the MEO constellation with significantly faster broadband speeds. 

SES said its reorganization means the company’s sales team will report directly to CEO Steve Collar, who said in the Jan. 18 announcement that “2022 is a pivotal year for SES as we launch the infrastructure that will grow and develop our business for the next decade.”

The operator has contracted SpaceX to launch the O3b mPOWER constellation on a total of four Falcon 9 rockets. 

The first three satellites were slated to launch together on a Falcon 9 at the end of 2021, before being pushed to the first quarter of 2022 — however, SES vice president of external communications Suzanne Ong said the company is now “looking at Q1/Q2 2022” in an email.

Despite the reorganization, Ong said SES would continue to detail the company’s video and networks business performance in financial reports.

SES recently recorded 785 million euros ($908 million) in underlying video revenue for the year to Sept. 30, 2021. That is a 4.1% reduction compared with the previous year when adjusted for foreign exchange rates. Underlying revenue for the company’s networks business was flat year-over-year at 533 million euros for the same period.