Kymeta Corp., the antenna company backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, says that CEO Nathan Kundtz will be leaving his post next month to make room for an executive who’ll be focused on the startup’s next stage of evolution.
Marc Stolzman, the Redmond, Wash.-based company’s president and chief financial officer, will take charge of day-to-day operations while the board of directors conducts a search for the next CEO. Kundtz, who has been with Kymeta since it was spun out of Intellectual Ventures in 2012 and has served as CEO since 2015, will continue his relationship with the company in an advisory role.
In a news release, both Kundtz and Kymeta said the changeover was amicable.
“I believe in Kymeta and I am proud of where we are today,” Kundtz said. “We have taken an incredible idea and turned it into a viable, commercially available product that will play a critical role in providing connectivity to every corner of the earth. That is an amazing accomplishment. Kymeta is now in a true stage of commercial operations, and I share the belief of the full Kymeta board that our company now needs the leadership experience of someone with a track record of driving significant commercial growth.”
Kymeta Chairman Rodi Guidero paid tribute to Kundtz as a “pioneer whose technical contributions have set a foundation for our company and the industry.”
“We are pleased Nathan will continue to be a valued technical adviser, and we’re looking forward to bringing on additional talent and leadership to launch the next stage of Kymeta,” Guidero said.
Kymeta said it recently closed a financing round that it described as “sizeable,” but provided no further details on that funding. Just last year, Kymeta raised $73.5 million in an investment round that brought total funding to nearly $200 million.
In addition to Gates, Kymeta’s investors include the Luxembourg-based satellite concern Intelsat as well as Lux Capital and Liberty Global.
Kymeta’s flat-panel satellite antenna technology takes advantage of metamaterials, which are specially constructed electronic matrices that can bend electromagnetic waves to pick up signals coming from any direction. The technology eliminates the need for moving parts, such as the gimbals that are traditionally required to point a dish at a given satellite.
Over the years, Kymeta has partnered with Intelsat as well as other big-name players, including Microsoft, Nomad GCS, Toyota, Inmarsat and Honeywell Aerospace, Panasonic, Sharp, Airbus and Aurum Security. Kymeta began offering a mobile satellite data service called KĀLO last December. The company is also selling antennas for satellite communication at sea as well as for field applications ranging from construction site management to emergency response.