GatesAir Appoints Barbara Spicek CEO

The veteran tech leader is chosen to succeed the retiring Bruce Swail as head of the Thomson Broadcast transmission subsidiary.

GatesAir, a Thomson Broadcast subsidiary dedicated to wireless content delivery, announces that Barbara Spicek will lead the company as CEO, effective immediately. She joins GatesAir following three successful years leading as an executive at Vizrt Group, a leader in broadcast graphics and software-defined live production.

Spicek joins GatesAir with a business leadership background of nearly three decades, with executive roles at Fortune 500 companies such as Brocade Communications and Veritas Technologies. Spicek’s reputation as a strategic, results-driven business leader for IP-based technologies caught the attention of NewTek owners Vizrt Group. In 2020, she accepted the role of president and general manager for NewTek heading the company’s live production business.

Spicek will now apply her ability to define company direction and success to GatesAir, where she said she sees the opportunity to not only grow the company’s international footprint, but also expand products and solutions offerings into exciting new areas. That includes carrying the brand’s industry-leading TV and radio transmission legacy forward, while broadening the company’s business opportunities.

“GatesAir’s longevity speaks for itself, and we will continue to innovate for the global over-the-air broadcast market,” Spicek said. “Business opportunities for TV, FM and digital radio systems continue to grow worldwide, and GatesAir’s Intraplex networking business has flourished as broadcasters accelerate their IP transitions. I see clear opportunities for GatesAir to bring new cloud and software-based solutions to market, both within its product portfolio and in collaboration with Thomson Broadcast and an extended ecosystem. That adds up to phenomenal growth opportunity for GatesAir, fueled through a strong company foundation anchored by Thomson’s supportive ownership.”

Bruce Swail, CEO since 2017, is retiring from GatesAir after several years of sustained performance, most notably in optimizing the company’s position in the FCC Spectrum Repack program.

“Barbara brings an amazing skillset to GatesAir that assures continued business growth through her proven track record as a proactive, innovative and strategic business leader,” said Aby Alexander, President – USA, Thomson Broadcast. “Her ability to define a company’s business direction and corporate culture align well with our vision to move the GatesAir brand into exciting new places.”


“When we committed to acquiring GatesAir, we challenged ourselves to develop ideas that would increase the company’s global footprint,” said Ylias Akbaraly, chairman of Redland, the holding company of the Sipromad Group and Thomson Broadcast. “That includes a business integration strategy that allows the GatesAir brand to thrive, and empowers both companies to develop more complete solutions for our customers. As we searched for a new CEO, we were determined to find the right leader to help us enact our vision. That leader is Barbara, and we are excited at the possibilities that lie in front of us moving forward. We thank Bruce for his important contributions and look forward to the next phase of GatesAir under Barbara’s leadership.”

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