Speedcast CEO resigns after ‘challenging’ year

Speedcast CEO resigns after ‘challenging’ year

Comes as the company lowers its full year earnings guidance by around 10 per cent

Credit: Dreamstime

Publicly listed satellite telecommunications service provider Speedcast is on a global hunt for a new CEO after PJ Beylier resigned from the post following a “challenging” year.

Beylier’s resignation comes as the company’s board warns shareholders that its core financial result for its 2019 financial year may not be within the range anticipated by the market at the time of the company’s guidance last year. 

Indeed, the company has cautioned that its FY19 earnings result could be around 10 per cent below prior guidance which, when it published its FY19 first half results last year, stood in the range of between $150 million and $160 million in pre-tax earnings (EBITDA). 

This follows on from disappointing performance in the first half of FY19, as the company tried to iron out challenges with its Globecomm acquisition. 

Speedcast acquired Globecomm for US$135 million in late 2018, noting at the time that it was a good strategic opportunity, but the move has since proved to be challenging and time-consuming, according to the-then chair John Mackay.

Mackay pointed out a decline in Globecomm’s maritime business and delays to government projects in the pipeline as the top line concerns. 

“2019 was a challenging year for Speedcast,” Beylier told shareholders in a statement. “The quality of the financial result is not in line with the board and management’s expectations, which I take responsibility for and have therefore decided to resign.

“I want to thank all our employees for their amazing passion and hard work over the past 20 years that has made it possible to build together the global service leader that Speedcast has become. 

“I remain excited about Speedcast’s future; as the company continues to execute on its operational improvement plans, it will be able to leverage the unique platform it has built and generate growth,” he added. 

A global search for a new CEO has commenced, with a particular focus on Europe and the United States for potential candidates. Until a replacement is found, board directors Peter Shaper and Joe Spytek will act as co-CEO of the company.

In the meantime, Beylier will continue to “be available” to the company for three months and will then receive a termination payment equivalent to 12 months’ salary. 

“We acknowledge the many years of committed service PJ has given to Speedcast, and the significant business that he and the team created over that time,” Speedcast chair Stephe Wilks told shareholders.

“However, in light of the preliminary FY19 result, the board has accepted PJ’s resignation and will now move to urgently finalise that result,” he added.

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