United States of America
Mr. Desch, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Iridium Communications, Inc., has more than 35 years of experience in telecommunications management, and more than 25 years in the global wireless industry. Joining Iridium in 2006, Desch has been responsible for leading Iridium’s innovation and growth, which includes the development and launch of Iridium NEXT, Iridium’s next-generation constellation set to begin launching in 2016. With Desch at the helm, Iridium has more than tripled in subscribers and more than tripled its operational earnings. Before joining Iridium, Mr. Desch served as the CEO of New Jersey-based Telcordia Technologies, Inc. (now part of Ericsson), a supplier of software and services to the telecommunications industry. Mr. Desch moved Telcordia into new wireless and international markets, and spun off the company to private equity from SAIC, Inc. Prior to Telcordia, Mr. Desch worked for Nortel Networks as president of Nortel's fast growing Wireless Networks division from 1995 to 2000, having led its growth from $2 billion to more than $4.5 billion in annual revenue. In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Mr. Desch as a member of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. The committee provides recommendations to the President and other government leaders on matters of security that relate to the nation's telecommunications infrastructure. An active pilot, he also serves on the board of trustees of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Mr. Desch was named by Washingtonian Magazine as a “Tech Titan” and received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year 2011 Greater Washington Area award. He began his career in software development with AT&T Bell Laboratories. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science from The Ohio State University and an MBA from University of Chicago.