Dean Olmstead, president of EchoStar Satellite Services and
an executive who during his career played a leading role in the global
satellite industry’s consolidation, died Oct. 16 after a courageous battle with
cancer. He was 55.
26-year career in the satellite industry, Olmstead held leadership positions
with EchoStar Satellite Services, SES Global, Arrowhead Global Solutions, Loral
Space & Communications, DirecTV, and Hughes Electronics. While at SES, he
developed the strategy and led the acquisitions that transformed SES from a
European fixed-satellite services operator into one of the world’s top two
satellite services companies.
his career, Olmstead worked as Deputy Director of the Satellite and Cable
Policy Branch of the U.S. State Department. He then moved to NASA, where he was
chief of the Advanced Communications Branch and program manager for the
Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS), the first Ka-band system
with on-board processing. His work at NASA led to his being inducted into the
Space Technology Hall of Fame in 1997.
will be remembered as a true legend in the satellite industry and will remain
an eternal inspiration for our employees," said Mike Dugan, CEO and
President of EchoStar Corporation, in a statement. "Dean was a visionary
who helped reshape the entire industry. His accomplishments at EchoStar and
through his esteemed career have created the base upon which others will build
for years to come."
born July 3, 1955, in Oak Harbor, WA on Whidbey Island. He attended Western
Washington University in Bellingham, WA, where he received an undergraduate
degree in economics and mathematics in 1979. He earned an M.S. in Engineering
Economic Systems from Stanford University in 1983. He had also completed Ph.D.
studies in economics at American University.
beginning his career with the Federal government, Olmstead left NASA in 1992 to
join Hughes Communications, a unit of General Motors Hughes Electronics. He
held a number of positions with the company in Los Angeles and Asia over the
next five years. He moved to Japan in 1993 to facilitate the new partnership
between Hughes and JCSAT Inc., Japan’s first commercial satellite
communications company. A year later he was named managing director of Hughes
Hong Kong Ltd. Olmstead returned to Japan in 1996 as executive vice president
of engineering for DirecTV Japan, designing, installing and operating the
world's first all-digital satellite broadcast center.
Olmstead joined SES Astra in Luxembourg and became a member of the management
committee. At SES Astra, he orchestrated the company's purchase of a
one-third interest in AsiaSat and then led the team that resulted in SES
acquiring GE Americom, subsequently renamed SES Americom. In 2001, he moved to
Princeton, NJ, to become president and CEO of SES Americom. He conceived of the
industry’s first long-term contract for multiple satellite launches; led the
acquisition by Americom of Verestar; and moved Americom into several new market
corporate acquisition experience drew the attention of other companies in the
industry, and he was recruited in 2005 to join Arrowhead Government Solutions
of Falls Church and lead the successful merger of Arrowhead with Houston-based
CapRock. He also formed Satellite Development LLC to advise clients on
strategic growth initiatives and mergers. He was instrumental in arranging the
2008 acquisition of Canada’s Telesat by Loral. Olmstead joined EchoStar in 2008
to lead strategic development of the satellite operating company after it was
spun off from the DISH Network.
survived by his wife Mara of Princeton; two sons, Tyler and Zachary; three
daughters, Kaitlin, Marin, and Sarah; his parents Edward and Lou Olmstead; two
brothers, William and Douglas; and a sister, Cynthia.
service is being held in Seattle, WA. A public memorial service will be held at
Intelsat headquarters in Washington, D.C. on November 17 at 3:00PM. NOTE:
Those wishing to attend the November 17 service should RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The family has asked that donations in Olmstead’s memory be made to the SSPI Scholarship fund and the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation:
Inquiries and donations to the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation can be sent to: Timothy Logue Treasurer Arthur C. Clarke Foundation 3822 Cobblestone Court Alexandria, VA 22306 email@example.com
or the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) Dean
Olmstead Scholarship Fund, 55 Broad Street, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10004.