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Iridium names new COO

McLean, Virginia-based Iridium Communications said Friday that Chief Operating Officer Scott Smith will retire after nine years with the company and be succeeded by former OneWeb executive Suzi McBride as COO in a move to take effect Feb. 15.

Smith will support the mobile satellite service provider in a consulting role until his official retirement date of March 15.

Over the course of his tenure, Smith has helped lead the company through the launch and activation of its Iridium NEXT satellite constellation used by government and commercial customers worldwide for broadband connectivity in remote locations.

“Bringing Iridium NEXT to life and building state-of-the-art, satellite-based products and services are, in and of themselves, a career's worth of accomplishments,” Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in a statement regarding Smith.

McBride’s appointment as COO represents a return to Iridium for her after one-and-a-half years in the same position at OneWeb, also a mobile satellite communications outfit.

Her first tenure at Iridium was for nine years as a vice president, where she was part of the leadership team responsible for the development of Iridium NEXT and its launch strategy.

She was also a senior engineer for Motorola in the early 1990s and helped launch the original Iridium constellation.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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