Denver Rocky Mountain News
DIGITALGLOBE TAPS TECH EXEC AS CEO
Spy-satellite operator DigitalGlobe Inc. named a seasoned tech executive as its new CEO, replacing seven-year veteran Herb Satterlee.
Jill Smith comes to Longmont-based DigitalGlobe from the CEO post at Gomez Inc., a Waltham, Mass., firm that tracks Web-site performance.
Her appointment comes amid speculation that DigitalGlobe may be positioning itself for an initial public offering down the road.
According to a news release, Satterlee will stay on as chairman at DigitalGlobe, overseeing the company's dealings with government customers.
DigitalGlobe executives weren't available to comment.
Analyst Edward Jurkevics of Chesapeake Analytics in Arlington, Va., called the management changes positive, saying privately held DigitalGlobe was moving from an entrepreneurial startup to an established business.
"Now it's time to bring in professional management," -Jurkevics said of Smith. "She's going to run a tight ship and focus on execution."
After two initial launch failures, DigitalGlobe has deployed one high-resolution satellite.
It also landed a make-or- break, $500 million Pentagon contract two years ago that will allow it to deploy a next- generation imaging satellite.
And the company has announced plans to launch a third satellite by 2008.
Although it has relied on government customers, the company is angling to boost its commercial business.
Smith has held executive posts at a variety of companies, including the CEO job at software maker eDial.
According to the DigitalGlobe news release, Smith is credited with repositioning the company before it was sold to the Paris-based broadband equipment company Alcatel.
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