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Arianespace shakes up executive suite
Posted: Tue, Aug 28, 2001, 4:43 PM ET (2043 GMT)
In a surprise move, Arianespace announced Tuesday that it has hired as its new chief operating officer a man who had led a joint venture to sell Soyuz boosters. The French launch services provider named Jean-Yves Le Gall as its new COO Tuesday, replacing Jacques Rossignol. No reason was given for Rossignol's departure. In a statement Arianespace said that Le Gall would be charged with efforts to "energize Arianespace's sales and marketing policy, and bolster the competitiveness of Ariane 5." An article on SPACE.com speculated that the move may be a sign that Arianespace is ready to support the commercial launches of Soyuz rockets from the Kourou, French Guiana launch facility: Rossignol was opposed to such a venture, while Le Gall is president of Starsem, a French-Russian joint venture that markets the Soyuz for commercial launches. France has shown growing support for Soyuz launches from Kourou and is expected to bring the topic up at a European Space Agency meeting in November.
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