September 13, 2017


Interview with our new CEO for US – Franklin Brent Abbott

Last week, ÅAC Microtec appointed Franklin Brent Abbott as new CEO for North America. Here is a short interview with him.

Welcome to ÅAC, Franklin Brent Abbott. What's your number one priority as Head of our US operations?

Number one priority is to get profitable work in as soon as possible. There are several actions that feed into making that happen, but that is, and will likely remain, the prime directive.

What do you consider ÅAC’s main strengths?

Having an established product line with flight heritage, something that is always huge in the space market. 

What are the main challenges for a Swedish company such as ÅAC in the US market?

ITAR concerns from customers, real and imagined. Many US customers will make a mistake on the side of conservatism and only engage US/US owned companies due to their fear of ITAR compliance. They don't realize that a US company, although foreign owned, is just as easy to work with and that the responsibility for ITAR compliance is on that US Company, like AAC Microtec US. We also have the benefit of ITAR restrictions being greatly relaxed recently.

ÅAC has a cooperation with York, what impact does that have on our ability to do business in the US?

Having an established business line is key in introducing any company to the US. The York partnership should serve as a strong foothold, offering AAC capabilities to improve mission capabilities to customers in the US.

What are the differences between the US and the European space market?

I have seen similarities and differences. Similarly, they like to use inter-market suppliers, although for different reasons. Differently, ESA member states usually get to share in work per their contribution, there is no analogy in the US or North American markets. The great equalizers are typically the commercial space concerns, making decisions based solely on price or capability/return on price.

How you feel joining a Swedish company?

With the cultural heritage and the more recent global business success stories in Sweden, I'm very excited to see the Swedish cultural approaches and thoughts on space business.