Group Chief Executive Officer Jim Hassell has announced he will step down from his current role on 31 December 2019.

Mr Hassell said: “having spent nearly half of my time traveling internationally over the last few years I want to increase the time I spend in Australia. With a family member with a long-term health issue this has been on my mind a lot recently and I would like to spend less time away from home.”

Since his appointment in March 2013, Mr Hassell has led the company through a period of significant growth and expansion. During this period BAI has become a global leader in its sector, investing in and building new communications networks in Toronto, New York, Hong Kong and London, while growing the Australian business through the recent spectrum restack and the renewal of long-term contracts with the ABC and SBS.

“It has been an honour to lead the company through a period of significant growth and expansion,” Mr Hassell said.

Mr Hassell will join the board of BAI Communications United Kingdom as a non-executive director.

“I am delighted to continue my association with BAI in the United Kingdom, which is an important market for the company,” he said.

Chairman Deena Shiff said the board would miss Mr Hassell’s contribution as CEO but looked forward to his continuing association with the company.

“I would like to thank Jim for leading the company through significant growth and building a highly capable team known for its customer focus and service excellence,” Ms Shiff said.

“As he departs the CEO role and begins a new role with our UK businesses, Jim leaves the organisation in a financially strong and stable position and with a clear strategy that will remain unchanged,” she said.

The board will conduct a global search for a new Group CEO and announce a successor prior to Mr Hassell’s departure at the end of 2019.