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Feature story March 13, 2017

Satellite Executive of the Year Stéphane Israël: Arianespace’s success is the result of reliability, innovation and passion

Chairman & CEO Stéphane Israël’s leadership in placing Arianespace at the launch services sector forefront in 2016 – both in terms of missions performed and new contracts signed – was recognized by the prestigious U.S. magazine Via Satellite, which presented its Satellite Executive of the Year award this month.

Stéphane Israël (second from right) receives Via Satellite magazine’s Satellite Executive of the Year award during a sold-out luncheon during the Satellite 2017 conference in Washington, D.C. Joining him are (from left to right): Mark Holmes, Editorial Director for Via Satellite magazine; Scott Chase, Co-Chairman of the Satellite 2017 conference; and Mark Spiwak, President of Boeing Satellite Systems International.

The high-level honor cited Arianespace’s 2016 win of new business as well as Israël’s role in overseeing an impressive streak of launches, involving the 11 missions performed last year using the company’s launcher family of Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega.

Via Satellite presented its Satellite Executive of the Year award during this month’s Satellite 2017 conference and exhibition in Washington, D.C., at a luncheon that drew several hundred attendees.

A team dedicated to the customers

Israël credits Arianespace’s success to a combination of reliability and innovation, backed by a true passion – for which he thanked the company’s employee team.

“What is striking at Arianespace is to see how dedicated our team is to our customers,” he said. “We are a small company with only a few hundred employees. Therefore, every Arianespace employee is in direct contact with our customers, developing a unique team spirit. And this contact cultivates dedication to customer service, and more than that a real passion to fulfill customer expectations.”

Arianespace’s “unique team spirit” was cited by Stéphane Israël while receiving the Satellite Executive of the Year award. Arianespace employees attending the Satellite 2017 conference joined Israël on stage in celebrating the award.

Arianespace’s ability to provide on-time, accurate launches – mission after mission – results from the company’s focus on all aspects that ensure reliability, Israël added.

“Reliability requires stability; at Arianespace, it may lead to a certain conservatism, or better yet, stability, surrounding launch vehicle design and configuration, and launch decisions,” he told the luncheon audience. “But I like to say that your payloads are like babies, and usually you prefer to have them in safe and reliable hands. This is why we do all we can to avoid failure.”

Via Satellite magazine’s selection of Israël as the 2016 Satellite Executive of the Year also cited his role in coordinating with Airbus Safran Launchers and the European Space Agency in preparing its two future launch vehicles – Ariane 6 and Vega C – for the marketplace, ensuring Arianespace’s continued competitiveness. 

A future driven by innovation

“Innovation is key for the future; Vega C and Ariane 6 embody this spirit of innovation,” he said. “These new launchers are only the beginning of a continuous innovation cycle. We already are working on a new lox-methane engine which will sharpen our competitiveness by the end of the next decade.”

In his remarks at the Satellite Executive of the Year award luncheon, Israël underscored Arianespace’s focus on all aspects that ensure reliability for the company’s launch services.

Israël noted that innovation also applies to the governance of Arianespace. “In order to always be more competitive and agile, we now work more closely with our industrial prime and main shareholder, Airbus Safran Launchers.”

In concluding his luncheon comments, the Arianespace Chairman & CEO underscored the important balance between national ambitions for space and the need for cooperation.

“What is fascinating regarding our family is how global it is. In this room, companies and citizens of all continents are represented, and this is not by chance,” he stated. “For sure, each of us is proud of our own countries, and we need our respective countries to be ambitious when it comes to space policy. But space always requires cooperation. Space always ends up opening doors to worlds larger than ourselves.”

For additional insight on Stéphane Israël’s Satellite Executive of the Year award, see the press release.

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