Asia Broadcast Satellite’s co-founder and CEO Tom Choi has stepped down from the company. Choi said it was time for him to step and move on to other interesting projects, but that he would continue to sit on the company’s Board of Directors and he remains a significant investor in the company.
Choi initially released his news via LinkedIn. “My servitude as CEO of ABS has come to an end. It was an incredible experience and a wonderful time. I believe after PanAmSat, ABS was one of the very few companies which were privately owned to reach a status of a Global Satellite Operator with customers and operations in every continent of the world,” he stated.
ABS’s current chairman, and industry veteran of more than 30 years, Jim Frownfelter, will become interim CEO. Jim and its majority owners, Permira, say have commenced a search for a new CEO and intend to make an announcement in the near future.
Choi said: “It was an incredible experience and a wonderful time. ABS is one of the very few privately owned companies that became a global satellite operator with customers and operations on every continent. Our start buying existing in-orbit satellites, raising over US$200 million in condosat financing to build ABS-2 and then building the all-electric satellites which were dual-stacked (ABS-2A and ABS-3A) on a Falcon-9, highlights just some of the our achievements over the years. I wish to thank our customers, partners, vendors, employees and investors as I move on to other interesting projects and I look forward to serving the ABS team in my directorship role.”
Officially registered in Bermuda but operating out of Hong Kong and the Philippines, ABS is backed by private equity funding from Permira, which bought the business in 2010.
ABS has been up for sale for some time, and back in January had been close to a sale to China’s China Communications Technology, but the agreement fell through.
Permira paid some €184 million ($242m) to acquire ABS in 2010 and let it be known that the business was up for sale last year.