Dave Davis Flies to Top Job at Global Eagle Entertainment

Courtesy of Global Eagle Entertainment
Dave Davis

The airline industry veteran is promoted to CEO at the company that provides in-flight entertainment services.

Dave Davis is being promoted from chief financial officer and COO to CEO of Global Eagle Entertainment, which has made a series of acquisitions to position itself as a key supplier of in-flight entertainment product and systems to airlines worldwide.

He replaces John LaValle, who also is giving up his seat on the board of directors of the public company but will leave with a consulting arrangement.

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Davis, a veteran of Northwest and US Airways, “has been instrumental in driving the formation of [Global Eagle] and the subsequent integration of our acquisitions,” says board chairman Ed Shapiro, “and he has the skills to accelerate GEE’s innovation in the in-flight entertainment and connectivity industry.”

Davis joined Global Eagle after it acquired Row 44 in 2011. He was named CFO in 2013 and added the COO job in January 2014.

Before he spent nine years at Northwest Airlines, David had a background in finance with Perseus LLC, Bearpath Capital and Kraton Polymers, as well as US Airways.

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“This is a very exciting time for GEE as we utilize our global footprint to offer airlines a groundbreaking combination of content, connectivity and digital media services,” says Davis.  “In order to capitalize on the opportunity ahead of us, we will concentrate on executing our strategic plan to grow our international base of customers, fully integrate our operations and further strengthen and expand our product offering.”

Davis will remain CFO until after the SEC filing for the second quarter of 2014 is complete. At that time, Mike Zemetra, who currently is senor vp finance and chief accounting officer, will become the acting CFO.

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Global Eagle has been growing rapidly since 2011, when former MGM chairman Harry Sloan and later former CBS president Jeff Sagansky became investors and board members. Since then it has engineered a series of acquisitions to position the company to provide movies, TV, music, interactive software, Wi-Fi and more to airlines, much of it satellite delivered. It currently serves more than 150 airlines worldwide.

Global Eagle Entertainment stock closed Wednesday at $11.45 per share on the NASDAQ exchange. It has traded as high as $18.48 a share in the past year. It currently has a market cap of about $608 million.