To refresh everyone’s memory: Global Eagle is the airline entertainment and Internet company founded by former CBS and Sony exec Jeff Sagansky and former MGM chief Harry Sloan. They, along with others on the board, just gave the company’s pilot wings to Dave Davis, who was CFO and COO after serving for years as CFO of Northwest Airlines. He spent most of his career in finance, and helped Northwest navigate its merger with Delta. Davis replaces John LaValle, who will continue to serve the company as a consultant.
“I initially invested in Global Eagle because I saw so much potential for delivering content thru digital delivery to airline passengers getting connected ” Sloan says. “Since then, Global Eagle has become the dominant player in delivering movies, TV series and games to the commercial airline industry. As airline connectivity becomes more ubiquitous around the world, the demand for content will be even greater, and Dave’s excellent relationships with the airlines will serve Global Eagle well, as he leads our expansion.”
Davis may have to steer Global Eagle through some choppy air. The company’s stock price is -23% so far in 2014 as it competes with rivals including Gogo and Panasonic to connect and serve planes in flight. But Global Eagle — which reaches planes via satellite transmissions, not terrestrial ones – hopes to gain altitude from a deal to serve Southwest Airlines, and other overseas airlines. The company reported a loss of $26.3M on revenues of nearly $86M in Q1, but told investors that it expects to grow this year.