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Robert Bednarek, SES Executive, Passes Away

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 08-Jan-2013
Updated: 08-Jan-2013 04:52 PM

Robert "Rob" Bednarek, whose career in satellite communications included serving as Chief Technology Officer of PanAmSat and later President and CEO of SES New Skies has died of cancer.   He was 55.

Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES, said in a statement today that Bednarek would be remembered "as a dedicated and innovative professional who helped shape the world of modern satellite communications through his visions and inspirations."

Bednarek was deputy chief scientist for the U.S. Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 1979-1984, and then went on to establish a Washington-based technology consulting firm Rubin, Bednarek and Associates.  He then joined PanAmSat and became Chief Technology Officer responsible for the overall operation of PanAmSat's fleet of communications satellites. (PanAmSat was later acquired by Intelsat.)

From PanAmSat, he joined SES and led its acquisition of New Skies, becoming President and CEO of SES New Skies, later SES World Skies.  In 2011 he became an Executive Adviser to Bausch as he battled his illness.

Bednarek was one of the members of the National Research Council's (NRC's) 2009 study America's Future in Space:  Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs (sometimes called the Lyles report after its chairman, Les Lyles).   He was inducted into the Society of Satellite Professionals (SSPI) Hall of Fame in 2011. 

His daughter, Stephanie, is a Government Affairs Manager in the Washington office of SpaceX.  He also leaves a son, Michael, and wife, Elisabeth.

 


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