In order to create the conditions for a smooth transition process, Belmer will join Eutelsat on December 1, 2015 as deputy CEO, alongside Michel Azibert, deputy CEO and chief commercial and development officer. He will be proposed as a member of Eutelsat’s Board at the annual shareholders’ meeting of November 2016.
Meanwhile, de Rosen will remain in the role of non-executive chairman of the board of directors of Eutelsat until the end of his current mandate in November 2016, at which point his mandate will be submitted to the annual shareholders’ meeting for renewal.
Commenting on the development, de Rosen said: “It has been my great privilege since 2009 to serve as Eutelsat’s CEO and latterly as chairman and CEO.” De Rosen joined Eutelsat as successor to Giuliano Berretta.
“During this period, we have consistently put innovation at the heart of our service to customers, significantly expanding our geographic reach, and cementing our reputation as leaders in technical excellence. We are proud to have launched Europe’s first full High Throughput Satellite, the first commercial all-electric satellite and to have procured Eutelsat Quantum, the first software-defined satellite. I take this opportunity to salute all our employees for their tremendous dedication and talent which have made possible these accomplishments. I feel this is the right time to hand over the reins and am delighted to welcome Rodolphe Belmer in whom I have full confidence to build on these achievements and to take the company forward. I look forward as chairman to participating in Eutelsat’s ongoing success.”
Lord Birt, vice-chairman of the board of Eutelsat Communications, said: “Michel’s decision to step aside from his executive duties at Eutelsat ends a six-year tenure during which his vision and leadership have transformed Eutelsat into a truly global player and confirmed its place among the world’s leading satellite operators. We are delighted that he will remain as chairman of the board.”
He added: “The board of directors is very pleased that Rodolphe Belmer will lead Eutelsat. With his extensive experience in broadcasting, his understanding of the trends shaping digital markets and his leadership, we are confident he has the skills to take Eutelsat forward in the evolving satellite communications landscape.”
Commenting on his new role, Belmer said: “I am honoured to join Eutelsat, one of Europe’s leading technology companies, at a particularly exciting moment in its development. The ongoing transformation of the content distribution market and the increasing importance of broadband connectivity offer tremendous sources of growth in our sector. I relish the prospect of guiding Eutelsat in this evolving landscape, and am committed to steering the company as it embraces these new horizons.”
Belmer joined Groupe Canal in 2001, where he was appointed as head of marketing and strategy the following year.
From 2003 onwards he oversaw the editorial division of the group, initially as CEO of Canal+, and from 2006 onwards, as head of all the pay-TV channels.
He led the diversification of the group into FTA television in 2011, notably through the acquisition and relaunch of D8 and D17. In 2012, he was appointed as CEO of Groupe Canal, in which capacity he focused on overhauling both the commercial and technological models of the company to enable it to rise to the challenge of OTT.
Last June, the Supervisory Board at Canal+ replaced Belmer with Maxime Saada.
Broadband TV Views. The change at the top of Eutelsat comes at a challenging time for satellite operators. Belmer, the new man on the block, has a long track record in the world of television, coming from Canal+. He is also twenty years younger than his predecessor.
As Belmer has a content industry background, and given the fact that two-thirds of the Eutelsat business is generated by video, it could lead to Eutelsat becoming stronger involved in the content business, perhaps through OTT and IP platforms.