Mike Hettich has taken over as LeoStella’s CEO. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
TUKWILA, Wash. — Mike Hettich has finally completed his transition from chief learning officer to chief executive officer at LeoStella, the satellite manufacturing joint venture headquartered here.
Hettich came to LeoStella from Kirkland, Wash.-based Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems, where he served as vice president for 19 years.
For the past few weeks, he’s been learning the ropes at the Tukwila development and manufacturing facility from Chris Chautard, who stepped down from the CEO post and is returning to his home base at Thales Alenia Space in France. In an interview, Hettich joked that “chief learning officer” came the closest to describing his role during the transition.
Today marked Hettich’s first day as LeoStella’s CEO.
LeoStella is a 50-50 joint venture of Thales Alenia Space, a French-Italian aerospace venture, and Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries. The company was created as part of a $150 million deal involving the two companies plus Italy’s Telespazio.
Its top priority is to build satellites the size of filing cabinets for BlackSky, a subsidiary of Spaceflight Industries that is developing a constellation of Earth-observing satellites as well as a software platform to deliver satellite imagery ...