Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium Communications, Named to 2020 Wash100 for Driving Revenue, Tech Advancement

Matt Desch
Matt Desch

Executive Mosaic is honored to present Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium Communications, as an inductee into the 2020 edition of the Wash100 Award for advancing new satellite, the internet of things and cloud technologies while driving revenue for Iridium. 

This marks the sixth consecutive Wash100 Award for Desch, which demonstrates an exceptional level of expertise and execution to drive achievement in the government contracting sector. Previously, Desch secured his fifth Wash100 Award for his efforts to drive revenue and Iridium’s overall growth. His success in that mission has led Desch to his sixth Wash100 Award. 

Under Desch’s leadership, Iridium recorded a 12 percent growth in revenue in the first quarter of 2019. Desch mentioned the company’s L-band broadband service was a huge driving force along with the ongoing efforts to advance the IoT, cloud and satellite technology.

In October, Iridium participated in a Series C financing round for Satelles, a Reston, Va.-based satellite time and location services provider, to advance product development and expand its partner network and sales and marketing initiatives. 

Satelles’ satellite time and location signal delivered through Iridium’s satellite constellation in low-Earth orbit works to provide assured positioning, navigation and timing in support of government and industry requirements. The company uses encryption for its STL broadcast service to prevent threat actors from spoofing or interfering with the STL signal. 

“STL addresses a critical and growing need across many applications and industries, so Iridium’s investment in Satelles aligns with our strategic vision,” said Desch. 

Iridium and Amazon Web Services partnered to develop a satellite cloud-based offering for internet-of-things users in September. The partnership utilized 66 satellites from Iridium and AWS’ facilities to IoT coverage for 80 percent of the surface of the Earth unable to access cellular networks through Iridium’s CloudConnect service. 

In the third quarter of 2019, Iridium’s commercial IoT data subscribers increased by 25 percent to 767K. The service officially launched on Jan. 29 to showcase Iridium’s ability to assist its customers connect and manage assets anywhere with its Iridium satellite network. 

The International Maritime Organization authorized Iridium Communications to provide Global Maritime Distress and Safety System satellite services for the UN agency’s maritime emergency operations on Jan. 14. 

“This is a monumental achievement for Iridium, and one that took years of hard work and dedication,” said Desch. “We are dedicated to keep finding innovative new ways to facilitate safer marine travel.” 

The company now offers the satellite GMDSS service and its new terminals designed to  facilitate transmission of distress voice, alerts and safety information in the shipping industry. IMSO acts as the regulatory authority for the system, GovConWire reported on Jan. 23. 

“The maritime industry is recognizing that our network possesses the unique ability to make GMDSS an even more robust system and extend its coverage to the entire planet,” said Desch. 

Executive Mosaic congratulates Iridium Communications and Matt Desch on his 2020 Wash100 Award. Desch’s drive to advance satellite technology alongside the IoT and grow the company’s presence in the GovCon sector have made him one of the top contributors to the sector’s future. 

About Wash100 

The Wash100 Award, now in its seventh year, recognizes the most influential executives in the GovCon industry as selected by the Executive Mosaic team in tandem with online nominations from the GovCon community. Representing the best of the private and public sector, the winners demonstrate superior leadership, innovation, reliability, achievement and vision.

Visit the Wash100 site to learn about the other 99 winners of the 2020 Wash100 Award. On the site, you can submit your 10 votes for the GovCon executives of consequence that you believe will have the most significant impact in 2020.

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