In his new position as president of Hughes Space and Communications International Inc., Michael J. Houterman is helping shape the global village.

Houterman was recently promoted by Hughes from his position as general manager and is now responsible for worldwide marketing of satellite systems for Hughes Electronics Corp.

“In countries where there is not always present a large investment in telecommunications infrastructure, the satellite system is a very fast and cost effective way to buy television and telephony services,” Houterman said in a telephone interview from China, where he was traveling last week to negotiate satellite sales.

While satellite technology is nothing new for Southern Californians, for some countries it can mean the overnight availability of television.

“Services that you and I take for granted are not there in many countries today, once you get outside of major cities,” Houterman said.

First-time installation of satellite systems has had a profound impact on nations and their progress, he said.

“This is a big force toward realizing the world’s global village and a major factor in achieving that,” said Houterman, 54, a South Bay resident.

Houterman travels frequently to South America, Europe and Asia and although he claims he is home more than he is gone, he says his family may argue the opposite.

An understanding of the culture is important for Houterman when putting together deals with foreign countries as the business arrangement can get complex.

“We utilize a total team approach that is culturally sensitive and focused on the consumer,” he said.

Houterman joined Hughes in 1964 as a member of the technical staff, becoming a communications systems engineer in 1966 where he began his involvement in the development of several satellite programs.

In addition to his new duties as president, Houterman also assumes responsibilities as vice president of commercial operations at Hughes Space and Communications Co.

Julie Sable

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