HERNDON, Va., June 26, 2013 – Airbus Defence and Space Americas, an AIRBUS Group North America company, today announced the selection of retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Kostelnik as president of Airbus Defence and Space Americas and Vice President of AIRBUS Group North America’s Space line of business, effective July 1.
Airbus Defence and Space Americas was incorporated in July 2012 and provides Airbus Defence and Space’s most advanced telecommunications, geo-information, space transportation and satellite capabilities to U.S. and Canadian government customers.
Airbus Defence and Space, an AIRBUS Group company, is the world’s third biggest space company supporting globally recognized customers and projects including Ariane launcher, the automated transfer vehicle and the Colombus modules of the international Space Station, as well as satellites such as Pleiades and Skynet 5.
Kostelnik, who served as NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station from 2002 to 2005, will direct the development, growth, and management of all space-related activities in North America, expanding the company’s market position in the sector.
Prior to joining Airbus Defence and Space Americas, he has served in the Senior Executive Service with U.S. Customs and Border Protection since 2005 as Assistant Commissioner over the Office of Air and Marine.
“General Kostelnik brings decades of outstanding leadership experience from his distinguished Air Force career and his subsequent service with NASA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” said Sean O’Keefe, CEO and Chairman of the Board of AIRBUS Group North America. “He has unique insight into the needs of our customers, and possesses the skill and vision to continue to expand our presence in this growing market.”
Kostelnik replaces John Schumacher, who served in the same position. “Given John's remarkable, extensive efforts to develop Airbus Defence and Space’s business within AIRBUS Group North America, we are most appreciative of his service to the company,” added François Auque, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “He's given us an exceptional foundation that General Kostelnik will continue to build upon. Under this new leadership, we will work with our colleagues at Airbus Defence and Space Americas to further develop our state-of-the-art space equipment and satellite services in support of our North American customers.”
Prior to joining NASA in 2002, Kostelnik spent 32 years on active duty with the Air Force. He is a graduate of the Air Force Test Pilot School and has accumulated more than 3,300 flight hours in more than 40 types of aircraft. He has served as Commander of the Air Force Air Armament Center and Air Force Development and Test Center, as well as Vice Commander of the Air Force Materiel Command and Warner Robins Air Logistics Center. He also served a tour as Director of Special Program with the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Kostelnik earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science degree in industrial and management engineering from the University of Iowa.
He has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, and the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership.
About Airbus Defence and Space Americas
Airbus Defence and Space Americas, an AIRBUS Group North America company, was incorporated in July 2012 and is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It provides Airbus Defence and Space’s advanced telecommunications, geo-information, space transportation and satellite capabilities specifically tailored to meet the demanding requirements of U.S. and Canadian customers.
About AIRBUS Group North America
AIRBUS Group North America is the U.S.-based operation of AIRBUS Group, a global leader in aerospace, defense, and related services. AIRBUS Group contributes more than $14 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports over 225,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers. AIRBUS Group North America, headquartered in Herndon, Va., offers a broad array of advanced solutions to meet U.S. military and commercial requirements, including fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, homeland security systems, public safety communications, defense electronics and avionics, and threat detection systems.
About Airbus Defence and Space
Airbus Defence and Space is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. It is the only global company that covers the full range of civil and defence space systems, equipment and services.
In 2012, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover over €5.8 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide.
Its three business units are: Airbus Defence and Space, the European prime contractor for launchers, orbital systems and space exploration; Airbus Defence and Space, a leading provider of satellite system solutions, including spacecraft, ground segments, payloads and equipments; Airbus Defence and Space, the Space services partner for critical missions, providing comprehensive fixed and mobile solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.
Airbus Defence and Space is a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2012, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of €56.5 billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.
James Darcy (AIRBUS Group-NA, Airbus Defence and Space Americas) Tel.: +1 703 466 5600
Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space) Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872