Mark Spiwak, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International. Credit: Kate Patterson for SpaceNews

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.

Brian Berger is editor in chief of and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. His reporting on the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident was...