Kay Sears, former president of Intelsat General, was hired by Lockheed Martin [LMT] as vice president for strategy and business development in the Space Systems business area, Lockheed Martin confirmed in an email March 21.

Effective April 4, her role will be to grow the company’s space systems business with a comprehensive strategy to develop new markets and strengthen partnerships with existing customers. Sears will also lead strategic planning and advanced technology concepts, the company said.

Kay Sears, President of Intelsat General is moving to vice president for strategy and business development at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Photo: Intelsat General.

Kay Sears is becoming vice president for strategy and business development at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Photo: Intelsat General.

“With nearly three decades of experience, Kay is a respected leader in the space and satellite communications industry and has extensive experience in rapid-response solutions for both military and civil agencies of the U.S. government,” Matt Kramer, director of external communications for Lockheed Martin Space Systems, said in a statement.

Intelsat General promoted Skot Butler to replace Sears as president. In his new role, Butler will oversee Intelsat General’s strategic direction, operational plans and execution of the overall mission to provide a communications solutions to government and commercial customers. Butler most recently served as vice president of satellite networks and space services and has been with Intelsat General since 2006.

Previously Sears was appointed to the President Barack Obama’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) in 2009 to help provide information, technical expertise, advice, and guidance on issues that may affect national security telecommunications issues.

Sears joined Intelsat in 2006 when it acquired PanAmSat, where she served as senior vice president of sales and marketing. Before joining Intelsat, she launched government services business units at G2 Satellite Solutions and Verestar and held other senior management positions with American Tower Corp. and COMSAT Corporation. She also currently serves as a board member of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority at the request of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

Kramer said Sears is leading strategy and business development for the entirety of Lockheed Martin Space Systems, which includes military, civil and commercial programs in the United States and internationally, as well as advanced research and development activities. Lockheed Martin Space Systems provides advanced technology systems for national security, civil and commercial customers.

Chief Lockheed Martin Space System products include major satellite systems; human spaceflight systems; strategic and missile defense systems; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft and a range of sensing, communications and explorations.

Sears for years has been calling on the Defense Department to tell commercial satellite communication (COMSATCOM) operators like Intelsat General what it wants for future capabilities so companies could invest to best provide such capabilities. Lockheed Martin is a developer of military SATCOM satellites. A battle is brewing between the two industry sectors, manufacturers and operators, as they position themselves to best benefit from the Air Force’s upcoming wideband SATCOM analysis of alternatives (AoA).