Rajeev Suri to step down as Inmarsat CEO, join Viasat board
Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, announced today that Rajeev Suri will stand down as chief executive on completion of the company's sale to Viasat, the US satellite communications group. Mr. Suri has been nominated by the shareholder consortium that acquired Inmarsat in 2019 to serve as a Board Director of Viasat upon completion of the sale. He will also be involved with ensuring a smooth transition period in his role as a member of Viasat’s Board of Directors.
Inmarsat Chair Andrew Sukawaty will also stand down from his position on completion and will join the Viasat Board of Directors. As announced previously, the shareholder consortium has the right to designate two nominees to the Viasat Board of Directors at the closing of the transaction, with one of those nominees being Andrew Sukawaty, current Chairman of Inmarsat, and the other being Mr. Suri.
Mr. Suri said: "Inmarsat is a terrific company with first-class people. I am proud to have worked with such a great team, including our superb Chairman Andrew Sukawaty, to deliver record financial performance, strengthen employee engagement, accelerate innovation, and deliver a transaction that ensures Inmarsat will be part of a long-term industry leader. I look forward to joining Viasat's Board of Directors and working to ensure the combined company achieves its full potential.”
The CEO's strong track record at Inmarsat was recognised by Mr. Sukawaty, who said: "On behalf of our entire board, I want to thank Rajeev for significantly improving our business performance and enhancing our leadership in global mobility. In a fragmented industry needing consolidation, he delivered a first-mover advantage for Inmarsat through its combination with Viasat, took a strong position on the critical issue of space sustainability, and supported the development of the sector through his role as Chair of the Global Satellite Operators Association."
Mr. Suri's tenure at Inmarsat and his expected nomination to the Viasat board was endorsed by representatives of the shareholder consortium that acquired Inmarsat in 2019, comprising CPP Investments, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, funds advised by Warburg Pincus LLC, and funds advised by Apax Partners LLP.
In a joint statement, the shareholder consortium said: "We would like to thank Rajeev for the leadership he brought to the company at a critical time. He demonstrated what is possible when management has the right strategic focus and executes with discipline. Inmarsat's financial performance has been outstanding, customers have benefitted from new technology, and employees will have the opportunity to be part of a larger company, well-positioned to win in a consolidating market. We are pleased to have nominated Rajeev to the Viasat Board of Directors. Both he and Andy will have our full support in those roles. We look forward to seeing the enlarged group build on the momentum from Inmarsat and accelerate it further."
The shareholder consortium also recognised the many contributions of Inmarsat Chairman Andrew Sukawaty, saying, "Andy has been associated with Inmarsat as Chairman for 20 years and has been key to the company's success through many phases. He was instrumental in successfully evolving the business and driving enormous growth in a rapidly changing technology environment over the decades. From his previous time as CEO and Chairman, before we took the company private in 2019, to his role as Chairman since then, Andy has been a key figure in the satellite industry, with a clear-eyed focus on creating value. We thank him for his significant contributions."
Mr. Sukawaty served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Inmarsat from 2003-2011 and Chairman from 2011-2019 when the shareholder consortium took the company private. He then continued as Chairman from 2019 to today.
The shareholder consortium was represented on the Board of Inmarsat by Salim Nathoo and Gonzague de Lhoneux on behalf of funds advised by Apax Partners LLP, Pascal Keutgens and Christoph Mueller from CPP Investments, Iñaki Echave and Eric Hargrave from Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, and René Obermann and Max Fowinkel on behalf of funds advised by Warburg Pincus LLC.