SmartSky Networks has brought veteran mobile broadband executive David Helfgott on board as CEO in a move the company said reflects its upcoming transition from the development and deployment stage to being an operational aviation broadband communications provider. Helfgott succeeds Haynes Griffin, who will remain as executive chairman.
“I am delighted to welcome David to our team, reflecting our longstanding company plan,” Griffin said. “His extensive technology and mobile communications experience will help us ensure that all of our operations reflect the high level of quality set by our connectivity technology.”
Helfgott joins SmartSky after serving as president and CEO of phased-array antenna developer Phasor, which was recently acquired by Hanwha Systems. Before that, he held senior titles that included president and CEO of Inmarsat Government, president of Tactical Wireless Communications for Cobham, president and CEO of Datapath, and president and CEO of SES Government.
“I am honored to be selected to lead SmartSky at this inflection point,” said Helfgott. “When you look at SmartSky’s positioning and expansive patent portfolio, it highlights the company’s potential and culture of sustained innovation.”
Despite the impact of Covid, Helfgott noted SmartSky has added more than 40 patents and closed on funding of more than $50 million in additional equity and debt. The company now expects to launch its network in 2021.