John Celli, president of SSL (Space Systems Loral,) will be stepping down after serving the satellites and spacecraft systems company for 36 years, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX:MDA), announced Wednesday. Dario Zamarian has been appointed Group President and Paul Estey has been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at SSL, effective July 17, 2017.
“I want to thank John for his many years of outstanding service at SSL, and for his role as a highly regarded leader in the satellite industry,” said Howard L. Lance, president and chief executive officer of MDA. “His passion for space technology and his commitment to both customers and employees drove SSL to a leadership position in satellite design and manufacturing and set the groundwork for future growth based on innovative thinking and technical excellence.”
“It’s been an honor to serve in this industry with my SSL colleagues and customers throughout the past 36 years,” said Celli. “Looking ahead I am confident that SSL will continue to grow and lead the industry.”
SSL grew and became a leader in the satellite industry under Celli’s leadership. “Celli earned a reputation across the industry as a forward thinker with high integrity and an uncompromising commitment to quality,” the MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates statement said.
Celli was honored by the Silicon Valley Engineering Council as an entrant into its Hall of Fame; he was inducted into the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) Hall of Fame, and he received the Outstanding Service to Industry award at the World Space Risk Forum (WSRF) in Dubai.
John Celli joined SSL in 1981 when he was recruited from his home in Italy to work as an antenna engineer at the Palo Alto facility. Over the years he became a Solar Array Supervisor, Mechanical Engineering Manager, and Director of Spacecraft.
One of Celli’s proudest achievements was his role as Executive Director for the Intelsat IX program where he led the successful development and delivery of seven advanced multi-frequency communication satellites for the world’s leading satellite operator.
Zamarian will work closely with the ongoing SSL senior executive team to support the needs of satellite operators around the world and drive growth into new markets. Previously, Zamarian was Global Vice President and Worldwide General Manager, Enterprise Systems and Solutions business at Dell Technologies from 2010-2013. Zamarian served as Vice President and General Manager, Systems and Network Management business at Cisco Systems from 2004-2010. Zamarian received his BSEE and MSEE from the Polytechnic University in Turin, Italy and an MBA from INSEAD in France.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to join a world-class company such as SSL,” said Dario Zamarian, “Driving growth in new markets and surpassing the needs of satellite operators around the globe is an exciting proposition and the combination of the new leadership team gives me confidence that SSL will continue to grow and lead the industry.”
Zamarian’s responsibilities as SSL Group President will include all of the satellite and space systems markets the company serves including GEO Communications, LEO Communications and Earth Observation, Space Infrastructure Services and U.S. Government Systems.
Dr. Paul Estey joined SSL in 1997. He currently serves as Executive Vice President, Engineering and Operations. Dr. Estey earned his BSME at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, his MSME at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his PhD in Engineering at Stanford University.