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Executive Profile: Matthew Desch, CEO of Iridium Communications

Executive Profile: Matthew Desch, CEO of Iridium Communications

Matthew Desch currently serves as chief executive officer for Iridium Communications, a position he has now held for 10 years after leading Iridium Holdings LLC as CEO from 2006 to 2009. Under his leadership, Iridium overcame bankruptcy and was successfully integrated back into the space and satellite industry. He is known for steering the company through the eight-year, $3B Iridium NEXT campaign, an initiative to replace the company’s fleet of first-generation low Earth orbit spacecraft. Desch also paved the way for improvements in orbital safety and decommissioning precautions, as well as listing Iridium on NASDAQ, the company said. Prior to joining Iridium, Desch accumulated 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, serving as CEO of Telcordia Technologies and president of Nortel Networks’ global wireless network business. His past leadership positions also include his time serving as supervisor for Bell Laboratories and chairman for Airspan Networks. Desch currently serves as a member of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and a director and a board member of Unisys. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.

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