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Ex-NASA Official to Head Boeing Satellite Subsidiary

March 20, 2001|PETER PAE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Moving quickly to avoid potential disruption, Boeing Co. on Monday named Randy Brinkley, a former manager for NASA, as president of its satellite-making unit in El Segundo.

The appointment comes less than two weeks after two top executives of Boeing Satellite Systems abruptly resigned in the first major shake-up since Boeing acquired the business for $3.75 billion six months ago.

Brinkley, 56, had been named acting president at the time, replacing Tig H. Krekel, whose sudden departure March 7 surprised Boeing executives. His resignation and that of Executive Vice President Joseph H. DeSarla were announced at a meeting of executives in Beverly Hills, which neither executive attended.

At the time of the resignations, James Albaugh, president of Boeing Space & Communications Group, said Krekel and DeSarla had put in place the right focus and strategy for the unit and praised them for directing its turnaround. After several years of disappointing earnings, Boeing Satellite Systems ended 2000 with a backlog of 34 satellites valued at $6 billion.

Albaugh reiterated the point when he named Brinkley to the top post Monday, saying, "Randy and the Boeing company intend to maintain the successful course that Boeing Satellite Systems has been on for the last several years."

A former Marine Corps pilot, Brinkley joined the former Hughes Space and Communications Co., which was renamed Boeing Satellite Systems, in May 1999 as senior vice president of programs.

Previously, he was the NASA program manager for the International Space Station. He oversaw a major overhaul of the project that included incorporating Russian participation. He also directed the successful repair of the Hubble Space Telescope after it was launched; faulty optics had rendered the telescope useless.

Boeing Satellite Systems is the world's largest maker of commercial satellites and employs nearly 9,000 workers in El Segundo.

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