Paul Weiss chair switches sides for Intelsat in-house role

Intelsat has recruited Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison’s chair of communications and technology Phillip Spector as its new general counsel.

The appointment will cause shockwaves in the satellite industry when Spector’s previous role as key outside counsel for rivals PanAmSat and SES Americom is taken into consideration. Spector has often been the first to wage very public regulatory battles with Intelsat.

Spector, who is also the managing partner of Paul Weiss’s Washington DC office, replaces David Meltzer, who has been Intelsat’s general counsel and executive vice-president of regulatory affairs since April 2004. Meltzer, who is leaving to pursue other interests, was heavily involved in Intelsat’s restructuring in the late 1990s prior to privatisation.

The shake-up of the legal department follows the completion of Zeus Holdings’ $5bn (£2.68bn) acquisition of Intelsat in January. Zeus is a private equity consortium comprising Apax Partners, Apollo Management, Madison Dearborn Partners and Permira.

Zeus announced that Dave McGlade, the chief of mmO2’s UK business, will take charge as chief executive officer this spring.