Baldridge replaces Dankberg as Viasat CEO

SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Dankberg, Viasat founder, chairman and CEO, moved into the newly created position of government chairman Nov. 3 as Rick Baldridge, Viasat’s former chief working officer, turned Viasat’s new CEO whereas retaining his position as president.

“I’ve held the CEO title for nearly 35 years, however Rick has been doing a lot of the government administration for the previous few years,” Dankberg stated throughout a Nov. 5 Viasat earnings name. “I’m joyful he accepted the CEO place.”

In his new position, Baldridge is targeted totally on the three-satellite ViaSat-3 constellation and preparing for the launch of the primary satellite tv for pc, Viasat-3 Americas, in late 2021.

In preparation for that launch, Viasat is working in Mexico, Central America and Brazil to ascertain its distribution community. As well as, the corporate is starting to check its Viasat-3 floor community with present satellites.

“There’s a whole lot of work that needs to be achieved: partnerships, distribution networks and ensuring we’ve got the precise expertise in these areas on the proper time,” Baldridge advised table4.

Viasat reported $554 million in revenues for the second quarter of its 2021 fiscal yr, a $38 million lower from the identical interval a yr earlier, due primarily to the drop in business airline site visitors brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quarterly revenues additionally declined for Viasat’s Authorities Methods enterprise because of the pandemic. Nonetheless, Viasat Authorities Methods gained contracts valued at greater than $785 million through the first half of the 2021 fiscal yr.

Viasat’s fastened broadband enterprise gained 5,000 subscribers through the quarter with a median income per person of barely greater than $100, “pushed by subscribers selecting larger bandwidth, larger worth information plans,” in accordance with Viasat’s quarterly shareholder letter.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on Viasat’s in-flight connectivity enterprise, which is down greater than 50% from pre-pandemic ranges. Nonetheless, Viasat continues to ascertain in-flight connectivity partnerships, asserting a deal cast months in the past with KLM Royal Dutch Airways however not introduced till now.

Viasat stays concerned about establishing a low Earth orbit (LEO) broadband constellation, which might provide low-latency hyperlinks, though the corporate’s first precedence is providing prospects high-speed connectivity and in depth bandwidth.

“Latency is necessary however we don’t assume it’s decisive,” Dankberg stated through the earnings name. “What we expect is decisive is the power to get a whole lot of bandwidth for video streaming.”

Along with contemplating a LEO broadband constellation, Viasat has been beta testing a community that mixes satellite tv for pc and terrestrial service to cut back latency.

“There are technical issues, however we discovered that after we add low-latency terrestrial to our satellite tv for pc service, folks’s satisfaction goes up,” Dankberg stated. “We’ve been doing it with DSL typically and we’re increasing to do it wirelessly. LEO is just not the one method to obtain low latency at scale.”

Viasat is among the corporations eligible to compete within the FCC’s Rural Digital Alternative Fund, which gives $20.4 billion in broadband subsidies by way of a reverse public sale. Throughout the earnings name, firm officers declined to touch upon this system.

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