Following the retirement of David Pollack on 1 January 2020, Israel’s Spacecom has announced the appointment of Itzhak Shnaiberg as the company’s interim chief executive officer.
Shnaiberg has worked for Spacecom since the early 1990’s and was the company’s Chief Financial Officer between 1996 and 2006. Shnaiberg has served as Spacecom’s deputy chief executive officer since 2008.
The Spacecom board thanked David Pollack on 1 January 2020 for his 24 years of service to the company.
Pollack, a former Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) executive, helped found Spacecom in the 1990’s and was instrumental in raising the funds necessary to build and launch the AMOS communications satellites through the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Pollack also served in the Israeli Air Force, reaching the rank of Colonel.
Spacecom only recently returned to profitability after a disastrous period where its critically important new generation satellite AMOS-6 was destroyed in 2016 after a Launchpad explosion at Cape Canaveral in Florida, United States. As a result, Spacecom was unable to fulfill a U.S.$95 million contract with Facebook to provide satellite connectivity throughout Africa.
This setback was followed by an aborted U.S.$285 million buyout of Spacecom by Chinese company Xinwei Technology. Xinwei backed out of the buyout after the loss of the AMOS-6 satellite.
It is a testament to David Pollack’s skill and fortitude that he guided Spacecom back to profitability and stability after such catastrophic events.
Key to Spacecom’s revived fortunes is the August 2019 launch of its AMOS-17 communications satellite. Manufactured by Boeing, AMOS-17 is a high throughput satellite (HTS) that will meet Africa’s communication demands as originally intended through AMOS-6. The AMOS-17 payload provides C-Band HTS, Ka-band, and Ku-band capabilities through the combination of broad regional beams and high throughput spot beams. AMOS-17 provides connectivity between Africa, the Middle East, Europe, India, China, and Brazil.