Employee Spotlight: Meet Philip Plantholt – Head of Strategy and Business Development, Aviation

Philip Plantholt

What’s your role?

As strategy lead with a focus on the aviation industry, I help the company find the right path into the future. I strategize business objectives with leadership, work closely with different teams across the company on technology evolution and product development, and identify the right mix of partners to work with, all with the goal of continuing to be a market leader and benchmark in the industry. Maneuvering one of the largest commercial satellite operators into the future is a challenging but enormously fun assignment.

Describe your journey to Spire.

I first heard of Spire while researching satellite-based aircraft tracking in 2016. At this time, there were not many companies in this field. My relationship with Spire began when I reached out to co-founder and CEO Peter Platzer via LinkedIn. Initially managing Spire as a partner of my former employer, I got the chance to get to know the company. In 2021 after a chat with a Spire colleague I realized that a career at the company would allow me to combine my enthusiasm and passion for space exploration with my professional experience. The thought of becoming part of a space technology company to support how space can help improve life on Earth was too exciting. The rest was paperwork!

What interests you most about space? Have you always wanted to work in the space industry?

I was always excited that space allows humans to pioneer and explore new territories and frontiers in an extraordinary way. For many decades space exploration has influenced technology evolution, which helped to create new solutions to solve problems on Earth. It was always a dream of mine to work for a company that is breaking through boundaries and explores new ways to harness the possibilities of space.

What inspires you most about the work you do every day?

What inspires me the most is the ability to demonstrate that space exploration can solve problems on Earth. I feel space exploration is at a turning point, similar to where the smartphone ecosystem was in the late 2000s. Being part of an industry going through a major revolution is a privilege — and fun. The democratization of space will have an impact on humanity as a whole, allowing us to improve the way we live and make it more sustainable.

What Spire value do you relate to the most?

Reliable: “We do what we say we will do.”

Early in my career, I was involved in the transformation process of a company, and we created new company values. One of them was “we do things properly or we don’t do them at all.” This value has stuck with me and become part of my business attitude. Someone could argue that this attitude can get in the way, but I have learned over the years that it always pays off to be reliable and have integrity.

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