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Posted 11 May 2011 - 17:24
SpaceX Names Bret Johnsen as Chief Financial Officer
Former Broadcom Executive Joins Company at a Time of Incredible Growth
Hawthorne, CA – Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has named Bret Johnsen as Chief Financial Officer, bringing 20 years of financial leadership experience in high-profile, publicly traded companies to SpaceX as it undergoes rapid growth on the back of tremendous technological and market success.
Johnsen's appointment follows the company’s fourth straight year of profitability (2007-2010). The total value of SpaceX NASA and commercial contracts recently topped $3 billion for over 40 launches. The company has also grown to more than 1,300 employees.
“Bret has an exceptional talent for financial management in high-growth, publicly held technology companies,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and CTO. “Looking at his career, he is clearly someone that always sought out tough challenges and produced impressive results. His experience will be invaluable to SpaceX as we implement the financial standards and processes needed to allow for the possibility of becoming a public company.”
“I am thrilled to be part of a team that is transforming the space industry,” said Johnsen. “It is exciting to join such a pioneering company as it continues to grow and increase market share. My job at SpaceX will be to ensure financial discipline, while supporting the formula that makes SpaceX great.”
Johnsen spent nearly a decade at Broadcom Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. He played a key role in helping transform Broadcom into a leading Fortune 500 technology company. There he developed processes that drove operating efficiencies, saving Broadcom millions of dollars annually. Starting out as Controller for a number of business groups within Broadcom, he quickly rose up the ranks. He ultimately was named Vice President, Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Officer, overseeing an 80-member accounting organization in nine countries for the cutting-edge technology company.
After leaving Broadcom, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Mindspeed Technologies. Last year, he was named “CFO of the Year” by the Orange County Business Journal for bringing the chip maker through the recession by cutting costs, reworking debt, selling stock and raising cash through patent sales. “The moves helped reposition Mindspeed for profitability and brought renewed attention from Wall Street,” the Journal said.
Johnsen holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Southern California and a Master of Science in Finance from San Diego State University. He is a certified public accountant in the State of California.
Posted 20 May 2011 - 22:33
NASA might ease its “delicate position” by following the cost-cutting approaches used by Space Exploration Technologies Inc. (SpaceX) in developing the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, a key member of the panel that reviewed U.S. human spaceflight plans for President Barack Obama is telling Congress.
Administrator Charles Bolden apparently agrees, saying that the SpaceX approach to management is “disruptive technology” that can bring “great gains” to the space program.
“They don’t spread things all over the country the way that NASA and defense contractors tend to do,” Bolden told the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on May 19. “They’re very focused in two locations in the country. They bring everything in-house. They have no subcontractors, so everything comes to them. That’s disruptive.”
As NASA struggles to restructure itself with the government in a cost-cutting mood, agency analysts have put some numbers behind Bolden’s view, notes Christopher F. Chyba, a professor of astrophysics and international affairs at Princeton University. Chyba played a key role in the 2009 deliberations of the panel headed by former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine.
Testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee on May 18, Chyba repeated his 2009 warning that NASA has never been able to develop one vehicle and fly another at the same time, and is unlikely to be able to do so today (AW&ST Aug. 3, 2009, p. 28). But he says NASA may be able to learn from SpaceX as the agency develops the heavy-lift launch vehicle Congress has ordered it to build for missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO).
“I think one would want to understand in some detail . . . why would it be between four and 10 times more expensive for NASA to do this, especially at a time when one of the issues facing NASA is how to develop the heavy-lift launch vehicle within the budget profile that the committee has given it,” Chyba says.
Posted 23 May 2011 - 22:27
Posted 26 May 2011 - 14:10
Posted 26 May 2011 - 17:16
Posted 26 May 2011 - 18:02
Sweet. I didn't really know that much science/math went into the launch pad location/angle (if I halfway understand this all correctly)... Interesting stuff, and any deeper it will go way over my head. lol
At first most missions will be Falcon 9/Dragon to ISS and Falcon 9 satellite launches with an orbital inclination relative to the ewuator of 15° to 50° +/- (ISS = 28.5°) and those are available from KSC.
Next come Falcon Heavy, a true monster capable of lifting 53+ metric tons, 2x as much as the Shuttle or any other launcher. With a hydrogen 2nd stage that could go up to 65+ metric tons. The main initial customer for it will be the National Reconaissance Office for large spy satellites going to polar orbit; an inclination of 80° to 90° which isn't available from KSC. To launch those SpaceX is modify pad SLC-4 East at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. First flight is probably late 2013 or early 2014.
Rumors are it'll also get mods allowing Falcon 9 to lainch there as well. These would consist o two integration buildings at 90° to each other; one for FH and the other for F9. An added plus is they could process 2 flights at once. Even if Vandenberg doesn't get the dual launch mod KSC will - that's a lock.
They also want access to one of the retired Shuttle pads for a super-heavy launcher should they compete (you know they will) for NASA's proposed Space Launch System, a rocket twice as large as Falcon Heavy - roughly 130+ metric tons to LEO. They already have a concept that large, Falcon XX, a nearly 400' tall behemoth that makes Saturn V look like a beanpole.
Posted 26 May 2011 - 19:06