Inmarsat boss splits top job for successor

THE BOSS of satellite operator Inmarsat will split his role in two when he steps down later this year.

Andrew Sukawaty, the firm’s long-serving chairman and chief executive, will appoint two separate successors to his role.

The move will bring the company in line with boardroom best practice for when he moves up to become executive chairman for at least another two years.

Making the change could help to secure the long-term success of the firm, which has been built into a technology powerhouse by Sukawaty over the years.

Reports had suggested Inmarsat’s finance director Rick Medlock and chief operating officer Perry Melton were in the frame to lead the company. However the firm said last night it was not yet close to appointing a successor.

However, Sukawaty has not appointed a headhunter in order to pursue an external replacement. A spokesperson for the firm added that there were some “strong internal candidates” for the roles.

Inmarsat’s share price has rocketed since it was first listed in London in 2005, guided under the leadership of Sukawaty into the FTSE100.

The firm, which reports its full-year results to the market this morning, has also seen a boost from global instability.

Analysts at Citi said the satellite firm was a “play on global instability” after earthquakes in Haiti and Chile boosted the demand for communications coverage in remote areas by 62 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2010.