Accelerating into 2023: new executive hire at Astranis

Welcoming Doug Abts as our Chief Commercial Officer

John Gedmark
3 min readJan 11


Over the last two years, we have established ourselves at Astranis as a serious player in the satellite industry. We finished our first satellite, sold many more, scaled to over 300 employees, and moved into a world-class facility that will support us at scale.

And this year is poised to be Astranis’s best year yet. We’re going to launch five satellites this year, including four on a dedicated Falcon 9 rocket. We also have multiple sales for satellite programs to serve countries all over the world that we have not yet announced. Stay tuned!

That’s why I’m beyond excited to announce that we have a new executive ready to help scale the company:

Doug Abts, formerly a senior executive at Viasat, has just joined Astranis as our new Chief Commercial Officer.

After graduating from Stanford, Doug started his career as an Operations Officer in the US Navy SEAL Teams, so he knows a thing or two about how to lead high-performance teams in dynamic environments. Doug would never brag about himself, so it’s my duty to do it for him. During those years of service, Doug headed global activities for a 300-person Navy SEAL Team, leading multiple successful overseas operations, and was ranked as the #1 Lieutenant on the West Coast.

Doug then earned his MBA at Harvard Business School and transitioned to the private sector, ultimately becoming a Corporate Vice President at engineering company SAIC, and then a Senior Vice President at satellite services provider Viasat. Notably, Doug served as General Manager for the Viasat Global Enterprise and Mobility business, which he led from an early stage effort to a market-leading business with a multi-hundred million dollar run-rate. Doug also led Viasat’s most significant M&A efforts in its history, with transactions totalling in the billions of dollars.

Doug brings a breadth of experience to the Astranis senior leadership team, directly applicable to the task of scaling a satellite services business. We are excited to see what Doug accomplishes in the years to come — because those accomplishments will matter for the Astranis business, of course, but they will mean even more for the millions of people who will get access to affordable broadband internet for the first time.

It’s our mission to connect the world, and the only way to achieve such an audacious mission is one step at a time. We’ve built up a solid foundation. We have the right pieces in place. And with Doug joining our ranks, we’re confident that Astranis has everything we need to achieve our mission and connect millions, then billions, of people to reliable, affordable broadband internet.



John Gedmark

Cofounder & CEO of Astranis. Your friendly neighborhood rocket scientist.