Canadian space technology firm MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates has recruited Howard Lance from private equity firm Blackstone to be its new CEO and spearhead its US expansion strategy. Lance will be based in the US rather than Canada, where predecessor Daniel Friedmann worked from, to execute on the company’s plan to secure more US government contracts.
Canadian space technology firm MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (TSX:MDA) has recruited Howard Lance from private equity firm Blackstone to be its new CEO and spearhead its US expansion strategy.
He will take over the role on 16 May, succeeding Daniel Friedmann who has been in the post for 21 years.
Friedmann has worked from MDA’s headquarters in Richmond, British Columbia, but Lance will instead be based in the US – in Palo Alto, Calif. – to execute the company’s strategy of securing more U.S. government contracts.
The company specializes in providing space-based communications, surveillance and intelligence solutions to government and commercial customers. It also boasts a significant share of the satellite manufacturing market having acquired Space Systems Loral (SSL) in 2012.
Lance has spent the past four years at Blackstone as an executive adviser focusing on strategy, acquisitions, operations and organizational development of certain holdings, but is also well-versed in securing contracts from the US.
Prior to Blackstone Lance was CEO of communications giant Harris Corporation between 2003 and 2011. During that time Harris posted top- and bottom-line growth at a compounded annualized rate of 14 and 22% respectively. Lance also served on the US National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee during his tenure at Harris.
Commenting on his successor, Friedmann said: “To fully implement our expansion plans the company needs a US-based CEO.
“Mr. Lance’s proven expertise in leading the expansion strategy of similar companies will be a tremendous asset to MDA.”
MDA chairman Bob Phillips said Lance’s strong record of “driving growth across multiple global businesses” and “building teams that make these businesses thrive” made him ideally suited to advance the company’s US expansion strategy.
Lance said that, with a robust pipeline of opportunities in the US and its strong financial position, MDA is well-positioned for further growth.