Eutelsat CEO plans to step down as HOTBIRD video capacity expands | Satellite | News | Rapid TV News
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Having led the company’s pivot towards telecoms away from its core video business, in which ironically at the same time it has inked a new deal in East Europe, Rodolphe Belmer has notified the Eutelsat board of directors of his intention to step down at the beginning of 2022.
Eutelsat Bal CEO 21Oct2021
Belmer has been CEO of Eutelsat since March 2016, during which time he implemented a strategy of strict operating and financial discipline and set the company firmly on its strategic path to address the opportunities of the connectivity sector. The process of recruiting a successor will begin immediately. In the meantime, Belmer will remain fully at the helm and focused on the development and performance of Eutelsat.

Commenting on his move Belmer said: “It has been my great pleasure to lead this fantastic company for the last six years and to executing its telecom pivot. It has been an exciting time both professionally and also personally. The women and men of this company have shared with me their passion for space, their attachment to the European industry and their full commitment to the great, collective project that is Eutelsat.

The collective project is increasingly seeing fewer video deals and in some welcome news for the company, Eutelsat also announced that it had signed a multi-year contract with TVN designed to enable Poland’s leading media company to secure incremental in-orbit resources at Eutelsat's flagship HOTBIRD video neighbourhood at 13° East.

Part of the Discovery Group, TVN is Poland's leading private broadcasters with 24 channel brands, including free-to-air networks and a variety of lifestyle, news, sports and film pay-TV brands. TVN is one of HOTBIRD's anchor customers, and Eutelsat will now continue the support for TVN's growth which it began in 1990s, further enhancing the quality of its offer at HOTBIRD.

The HOTBIRD neighbourhood will be further optimised with the entry into service of two next-generation HOTBIRD satellites due to be launched in 2022 to replace the spacecraft currently operating at 13° East.

Remarking on the deal, Eutelsat's chief commercial officer Philippe Oliva said: "We are delighted to reinforce our longstanding relationship with TVN, as it expands its premium broadcast service in Europe. This agreement showcases the relevance of satellite as a broadcast infrastructure capable of reaching the largest audience in Europe, both today and in the years to come.”

Added TVN Discovery Group chief technology officer Krzysztof Kozłowski: "We are excited to continue to draw on Eutelsat's in-orbit resources to strengthen the distribution of our broadcast services in Poland, one of our core markets in Europe. We are also delighted to continue our partnership with one of the world's most established satellite operators, which dates back more than 20 years to the launch of our first television channel in 1997.”