Viasat Inc., a global communications company, today announced that Viasat’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Dankberg has become Executive Chairman of the Company, a new position. He is continuing in his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Viasat, Inc.
The Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Rick Baldridge, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer. These executive changes went into effect on November 3, 2020.
This evolution formalizes the way Dankberg and Baldridge have been operating for the past several years.
As Executive Chairman, Dankberg will continue to focus on advancing the strategic technology and business direction of the Company, as well as continue to influence the national and global space and broadband regulatory environments that are critical to Viasat’s global strategy.
As President and CEO, Baldridge will continue his executive and operational leadership, with a focus on building and growing a customer-centric organization that will continue to deliver compelling global services and products. Baldridge will maintain his seat on the Viasat Board of Directors.
This leadership evolution is an initial step in the Company’s long-term succession plan, creating a foundation for the development of future generations of executive leadership.
This seamless transition comes at an important time in Viasat’s growth where the demands for innovation, leadership and operational execution are paramount in scaling the Company as it prepares for the impending launch of the ViaSat-3 global constellation. The new constellation will expand Viasat’s reach and capabilities into new geographies and emerging vertical markets, further broadening the Company’s broadband and technology leadership positions.
“This represents a natural evolution and will best serve the interests of Viasat’s long-term future, as we execute against our plan to deliver ubiquitous, affordable connectivity that will help close the global digital divide,” said Dankberg.
“Rick has been managing virtually all of the Company’s operations and key direct reports for several years, while I have been focused on technology innovation, industry thought leadership and regulatory issues at a time of dynamic change and opportunity within the space and broadband sectors. I’m very pleased Rick has agreed to take on the CEO role. We have built a close relationship through the years that is reflected in every part of Viasat – from our company culture, to our business strategies and operational execution. And for me personally, this is an opportunity to define a role where I can continue to contribute to our success for years to come.”
Baldridge commented, “I am honored to lead Viasat, a company that I have devoted many years to help build. We have leading technology, strong business segments, exceptional people and the resources needed to make the Company a formidable global player in broadband communications. In working with the Board of Directors, Mark and the global Viasat team, we will continue to embrace new and emerging technologies that enable us to elevate our customers’ experiences, extend our market leadership and deliver long-term, differentiated value for our stakeholders.
“On a personal note, I want to thank Mark for his continued confidence and trust in what we can achieve together—we have worked hand-in-hand for quite some time dividing tasks on a situational basis. This transition gives us the chance to form a stronger structure for future succession and global growth.”
Sean Pak, lead independent director, Viasat Board of Directors added, “Viasat is taking an important, thoughtful and strategic first step in its leadership succession planning to ensure the Company’s long-term future as a global communications leader. Mark and Rick offer complementary skills, and initiating this seamless evolution at a key moment in the Company’s development, assures our stakeholders will continue to benefit from their talents.”
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people’s lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea.