Industry Leader Roly Rigual Joins Comtech to Oversee Growth Organization

Roly Rigual walked the exhibit floor this week at SOF Week 2024, a special operations forces and defense conference in Tampa, Florida, where he met with customers and colleagues and watched Comtech demonstrate new communications technologies with key partners.

“It’s exciting to see these live demonstrations of Comtech’s cutting-edge capabilities here. It really emphasizes the close, collaborative relationships we have with the SOF community,” noted Roly, who joined Comtech last month as Vice President of Business Development and Sales.

“Comtech’s diverse portfolio of solutions is well-known across the industry,” he recalls, on the heels of a 19-year stint at iDirect, where he most recently served as Vice President of the Sales Engineering and Strategic Solution Group for iDirect Government Technologies. “I’m thrilled to lead Comtech’s growth organization and build on the company’s enormous success with commercial and government markets,” Roly said, noting outgoing Chief Growth Officer Nicole Robinson played a big part in Comtech’s recent success.

“Nicole Robinson has done a great job, and I am thrilled to step in and build on the relationships and work Nicole has done,” he explained. “I’m excited about the opportunities ahead when it comes to enabling commercial and government markets with breakthrough capabilities in the face of unprecedented change.”

Comtech’s innovative solutions, differentiated talent, and deep leadership bench are big reasons why Roly made the move to Comtech. Interim CEO John Ratigan was the difference. “It was an amazing experience to help iDirect Government become the $100 million market player it is today, but with Comtech’s market potential, growth trajectories, and John Ratigan at the helm, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. John has a tremendous reputation across the industry as an incredible, trusted leader. I’ve worked with John for nearly 20 years, and I’m very much looking forward to pushing the limits with such a capable, experienced team.”

“With over two decades of telecommunications industry leadership experience and a proven track record of driving sales engineering and strategic solutions to achieve remarkable results, Roly is uniquely suited to take on his new position at Comtech,” said John Ratigan, Interim CEO of Comtech. “Roly’s differentiated expertise and deep understanding of the industry as well as Comtech’s customers and technologies will be instrumental to our continued growth and success across a variety of global markets.”

Roly possesses a deep understanding of satellite and space markets, as well as terrestrial and wireless, having held leadership roles at top-tier telecommunications companies, including Nortel Networks, Sprint/Alcatel Networks, and Net2000 Communications. He’s excited about advancements Comtech is enabling in everything from multi-orbit connectivity to next-generation 9-1-1.

A Deep Appreciation for Solving Military Challenges

Today’s threat landscape is evolving at an unprecedented rate, Roly says, sharing a glimpse into his strategic plan. “Tomorrow’s adversaries will be far more technologically sophisticated, and Comtech is well positioned to empower businesses and defense initiatives with exciting new solutions,” he outlined. “Comtech’s U.S. sovereign solutions, first rate team, differentiated experience, and reputation are second to none. We make incredibly innovative and resilient systems that redefine communications and connectivity in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago.”

Part of his growth plan involves treating the government and defense sector as its own region. “The Department of Defense (“DoD”) and the U.S. government have unique requirements that don’t necessarily exist in the commercial world,” Roly explained. “They have unique security and procurement requirements and timelines that call for a different skillset and approach. We’re already intensifying our work in the government sector, and I’m looking forward to building out this focus area among others in the coming months.”

Roly traces his passion for supporting national security and delivering new technologies that help our warfighters and coalition partners to his parents, “I’m a first generation American, and like many children of immigrants to the United States, I grew up with a sense of gratitude for the opportunities this country provided my family,” said Roly. “It has engendered in me a very strong, passionate patriotic streak.” Roly served in the Marine Reserve in the eighties, twenty years after his father joined the U.S. Army as a Cuban immigrant.

His life experience has informed his enthusiasm for supporting U.S. troops and allies with the very best communications technologies available. He’s equally determined to extend his coaching skills across the Comtech team with the goal of building a team from the inside out.

Coaching Success

Roly counts coaching among his strengths. “I’m good at assessing talent and building teams and getting teams to excel in working toward a common goal and vision.”

He’s equally passionate about putting his coaching skills to work for his colleagues and kids. “Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses,” Roly explained. “The trick is to harness those strengths in a way that aligns with their personal goals and the company’s goals and enables them to enjoy what they excel in.”

It’s very easy to throw out buzzwords like multi-orbit, digitalization, and orchestration, according to Roly, “but they mean nothing without the technologies, solutions and people that make them work.” Comtech is ahead of the competition in many ways, but just check out the industry headlines every day and it’s no secret the communications industry is moving fast. We must be willing to work together and collaborate as a team to stay ahead of the curve.”

It’s a similar approach Roly used while coaching his three kids in football and basketball in Northern Virginia, where he was a big part of the youth sports organization for years. “I believe deeply in doing the right thing for our customers. In the long run that will pay the biggest dividends for all of us at Comtech – in the form of trust and teamwork. In the end, we shouldn’t care who gets the credit what matters is that our team is successful, and that our people are having fun and feel like they have a purposeful life and mission.”

Room to Grow

According to a recent Euroconsult report, the ground segment is set to soar to a market value of about $80 billion over the next eight years by 2032, driven in part by multi-orbit operations and rapidly evolving SATCOM demands. The ground-as-a-service market alone is expected to grow to about $400 million in just the next three years. That bodes well for Comtech, as a leader in the global ground game.

Roly is already in deep discussions with customers and partners around the world, and he’s finding many allied nations are gearing up to expand their comms capabilities to boost national security. “It’s critical that we have the latest technologies and capabilities ready to go to enable our customers and partners to accomplish and meet their critical goals and milestones wherever they are in the world.”

While he leads Comtech’s growth organization and mission, Roly is also relishing the opportunity to grow his own capabilities in his new international role. “I’m thrilled to take on new challenges together with our people in markets all over the world, where we can help our customers and partners unlock their full potential with Comtech’s people, expertise, technologies, and solutions,” Roly explained. “We have a real edge in many key government and commercial markets, and I’m looking forward to Comtech expanding that advantage by engaging our teams and customers in new ways.”

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information in this blog post contains statements that are forward-looking in nature and involve certain significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and performance could differ materially from such forward-looking information. The Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings identify many such risks and uncertainties. Any forward-looking information in this blog article is qualified in its entirety by the risks and uncertainties described in such Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

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