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Iridium CEO Matt Desch Earns 8th Consecutive Wash100 Award Recognition

Executive Mosaic is pleased to induct Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium Communications, into the 2022 class of its esteemed Wash100 Award, which is annually bestowed upon the top 100 executives in the government contracting community for their noteworthy achievements, innovative vision and measurable influence across the federal sector.

This marks Desch’s eighth consecutive Wash100 Award, given in recognition of his continued outstanding leadership and his ability to drive company growth in the mobile satellite service market in the face of considerable supply chain challenges and other pandemic-related hurdles.

Visit Wash100.com to cast your vote for Iridium’s Matt Desch and learn more about the nine-year history of the prestigious award.

“Matt Desch has continued to perform the year-over-year revenue and subscriber growth his shareholders have come to expect, in addition to rebuilding a company from ‘flatline to incline’ with impressive consistency,” said Jim Garrettson, CEO of Executive Mosaic and founder of the Wash100 Award.

“Matt’s business discipline and attention to management detail exhibit the characteristics of the perfect golf swing; Matt makes it look easy for the spectators, but they do not see the many years of sacrifice and careful planning in crafting a strategy that sets Iridium apart from other overhead architecture providers and satellite firms,” he commented.

Garrettson continued, “In spite of the pandemic and parabolic growth of international satellite expansion, Matt managed to deliver increasingly sophisticated services, subscriber and topline growth, and Iridium sits in the top tier of the mobile satellite market, which is expected to boom.”

Desch, a telecommunications veteran, has served for over 15 years as head of Iridium, leading the company through its nearly two decades of consistent growth.

The McLean, Virginia-based satellite operator reported $614.5 million in total revenue for 2021 – a five percent jump from its $583.4 million in revenue for the previous year. Under Desch’s leadership, the company’s billable subscribers also rose to 1.72 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, reflecting a 17 percent year-over-year increase, stemming from growth in Iridium’s commercial Internet of Things subscribers.

“Iridium had another strong year in 2021 on the back of the best subscriber growth in company history,” commented Desch. “We achieved this growth even in the face of supply chain issues, while continuing to expand our product portfolio.”

The company’s growth over the last year can be attributed in part to the widening of Iridium’s Certus midband and broadband service offerings. In June 2021, Iridium expanded its Certus 200 satellite network-supported L-band broadband service offering for applications in government, maritime and mobile land uses.

Certus L-band broadband service operates on Iridium’s low-Earth orbit NEXT satellite network, which reached deployment completion in 2019 and achieved operational status the following year.

Iridium’s Certus airborne satellite communications equipment successfully completed a data transfer test with Collins Aerospace’s high gain antenna for global broadband offering last year, marking a milestone in the partnership’s efforts to deliver L-band connectivity for aviation customers in 2022.

In 2021, Iridium also launched its Certus 100 midband satellite service, along with supporting products from the company’s partners including Blue Sky Network’s SkyLink and LT-4100 from Lars Thrane. Certus 100 supports customers across government, maritime, Internet of Things, land mobile and aviation sectors.

Additionally, last year Iridium made a strategic investment in DDK Positioning, a global navigation satellite system services provider, in a move that provides GNSS data to customers for maritime, agricultural and infrastructure applications, among other uses.

Shortly after the DDK Positioning business combination, Iridium was selected by the U.S. Army to research and develop a payload that could be hosted on small satellites to support global positioning systems. Under the $30 million contract, Iridium is leveraging its Burst technology to support the Army’s concept of a rapidly-deployable smallsat constellation that is expected to provide more effective sensor-to-soldier data transmission capabilities.

During Desch’s tenure as CEO, Iridium notably added space sector veteran and fellow Wash100 Award alumnus Tony Frazier, executive vice president and general manager of public sector Earth intelligence for Maxar, to its board of directors.

Commenting on the appointment, Desch said Frazier will help to further Iridium’s mission in its next phase of growth following the completion of the company’s financial transformation and the initiation of its strong free-cash-flow-generation period.

Executive Mosaic congratulates Matt Desch and the Iridium team on their Wash100 recognition. Desch receives his 2022 Wash100 Award in recognition of his past leadership and in anticipation of his future impacts in the mobile satellite services industry and across the federal landscape.

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