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The Satellite Applications Catapult appoints John Abbott as CEO

Posted 2 August 2023

The Satellite Applications Catapult has appointed John Abbott as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Image courtesy The Satellite Applications Catapult

Mr Abbott will take up the post at the end of October, replacing Stuart Martin who announced his intention to step down earlier this year. The announcement follows the completion of a formal recruitment process, led by the Chair of the Satellite Applications Catapult Board, Sanjay Bhandari.

Mr Abbott joins the Catapult from the Real Estate Registry in Saudi Arabia, where he is Chief Digital Officer. Mr Abbott was instrumental in the delivery of the Kingdom’s first ever registry of land ownership as part of a public-private partnership supported by the Public Investment Fund.

Mr Abbott was previously Director of Digital Data and Technology and a member of the Executive Board at HM Land Registry, where he led a successful £200m digital transformation programme and the organisation’s pioneering open innovation programme, Digital Street. Prior to this he was Head of Digital Products at Ordnance Survey where he was responsible for digitising and publishing the organisation’s geospatial data as well as the Innovations Lab and Geovation, a successful start-up incubator, which has supported more than 150 early-stage businesses which together have raised £130m. Earlier roles included Product Director at Mimecast, the UK tech company acquired by Permira for $5.8Bn. He has an MBA from Imperial College London and is married with three children.

Sanjay Bhandari, Chair of the Satellite Applications Catapult Board said: “We are delighted to welcome John to lead the Satellite Applications Catapult as we start our next phase of development. The board was hugely impressed by John’s experience, particularly his work in geospatial technologies, in guiding large organisations through major digital transformation projects and in his demonstrable commitment to supporting the start-up community. This experience will be a valuable asset as our Catapult continues to support the rapidly growing UK Space Sector.”

In accepting the new role, Mr Abbott said: “I am very excited to be taking on the role as Satellite Applications Catapult CEO at this important time for the space industry. The role of a Catapult CEO offers an unrivalled opportunity to shape the success of an entire sector. I look forward to building on the exceptional work done by Stuart Martin and the team over the last 10 years, and capitalising on the well-respected position in the industry that the Catapult occupies. With our strong team and clear mission, I am excited about what we can achieve.”



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