The well-respected CEO of the European launch provider Arianespace, Jean-Yves Le Gall, has been appointed as the new Head of the French Space Agency CNES by French President François Hollande. The move will mark a return to the agency which offered Le Gall ihs first job as a researcher following his engineering studies at University. During his career Le Gall was also Assistant Director General of CNES from 1996-1998.
Comment by David Todd: Le Gall’s departure from Arianespace will be a blow to the organisation. Known to be a tough, uncompromising and humourless (unless the joke was on his competitors) nevertheless as head of Arianespace, Jean-Yves Le Gall’s leadership qualities and achievements remain self evident. Having joined the organisation via Starsem, he became COO in 2001 and soon afterwards CEO of Arianespace in 2002. In the period since then he presided over increasing quality standards resulting in a much admired continuous run of 54 Ariane 5 launches without failure. He will be a hard man to replace.