Our leadership and management teams encompass some of the top minds across the aviation, telecommunications, engineering, media, and ecommerce industries. Gogo wouldn’t be the world’s inflight connectivity leader without them.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Oakleigh Thorne currently serves as chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president of Gogo. Thorne has approximately 30 years of leadership experience with significant operational and financial expertise including serving as CEO of two prior public companies. He has served on the Gogo Board of Directors since 2006 and was a member of the Aircell Board of Directors, Gogo’s predecessor company, from 2003 until January 2007.
Thorne previously served as chairman and CEO of eCollege.com, an early software as a service business providing learning management solutions to online universities, from May of 2000 until July 2007, when the company was sold to Pearson PLC for $550m.
Thorne also served as the CEO of Commerce Clearing House, Inc. a leading provider of tax and business law information, software, and services. Thorne led the sale of CCH for $1.9 billion to Wolters Kluwer, a Dutch publishing company, in January of 1996.
In 1996 Thorne founded Thorndale Farm, LLC., which oversees the Thorne family’s investment portfolio, including its investment in Gogo and a diversified portfolio of private equity, absolute return, long-only equity and fixed income funds portfolios.
He currently serves as a director of the Duchess Land Conservancy.
Thorne received an MBA from Columbia University and Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University. He started his career as a journalist for the Boston Globe and Baltimore News American.
President & Chief Operating Officer
Sergio Aguirre is president and chief operating officer of Gogo Business Aviation, reporting directly to the CEO. He joined Gogo in 2007.
Aguirre has led the team during the time it developed some of the company’s most significant connectivity solutions, including the Gogo AVANCE platform, which has become one of the most successful solutions in the company’s history.
Aguirre is an aviation industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience, serving in a variety of positions from A&P mechanic to sales, product development, marketing and senior-level management.
Prior to joining Gogo, he served as director of OEM and aftermarket sales, marketing and support for Securaplane, helping to pioneer the installation of exterior cameras on corporate aviation aircraft. He served in a similar capacity for Airshow in the late 1990s where he was part of the team that launched the first Ku TV system that became the industry standard across business aviation and commercial airlines.
From 1989-1996 he served in various roles in both service and completion centers and served as a customer account manager for Gulfstream Aerospace where he was involved in the first installations of Inmarsat systems on Gulfstream aircraft.
As a member of the United States Air Force, from 1984-1988, he was an aircraft structural mechanic and worked on F-111s and H1N helicopters.
Aguirre attended Orange Coast College, and completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He also holds an FAA airframe and power plant license.
Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary
Crystal Gordon serves as Gogo’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, a position she was appointed to in November 2022.
She has wealth of experience in a career that spans more than 20 years in aviation businesses and private practice.
Gordon joined Gogo from Bristow Group Inc., the leading global provider of innovative and sustainable vertical flight solutions, where she served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Head of Government Affairs and Corporate Secretary since 2020. Gordon was appointed to that position after helping lead the merger between Bristow Group Inc. and Era Group Inc. She previously served as Era’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer starting in January 2019.
From 2011 through 2018, Gordon served as the Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Air Methods Corporation, an emergency air medical company operating over 400 aircraft throughout the U.S.
Prior to her appointment at Air Methods Corporation, she worked in private practice as a corporate and securities lawyer with Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, in Denver, Colorado. She also held several compliance roles in the financial services industry prior to attending law school.
Gordon earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Santa Clara University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She resides in Denver with her family.
Executive Vice President & Chief People Experience Officer
Karen Jackson serves as Gogo’s Chief People Experience Officer, overseeing Human Resources, Internal Communications, Facilities and Safety, joining the Gogo team in 2015.
Previously, Karen was with Accenture as the Senior Vice President for Human Resources for Acquity Group, a leading Digital Marketing and eCommerce Services company. In this role she was responsible for evolving the company’s vision and talent strategy to support Acquity Group from a start-up through its initial public offering and ultimately, its acquisition by Accenture. Karen previously worked as a consultant and in various operational roles for twelve years helping organizations develop and execute digital transformation initiatives that included strategy development, technology selection and implementation and organizational/talent models to support digital business.
Karen has a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Senior Vice President,
Mike Begler is senior vice president of production operations for Gogo Business Aviation. In his current role, he directs teams including new product introduction, manufacturing and test engineering, supply chain, logistics, warehouse, production and repair station operations. He ensures high quality products are delivered at the right time and at the best value to the customer.
Begler has extensive management experience in all facets of domestic and international manufacturing including small, venture capital funded, high tech start-ups (six companies to date) to large corporations with emphasis on the commercial high-tech industries. Prior to coming to Gogo, he worked for Lockheed Martin Space Systems where he was responsible for the manufacturing of all Space Systems satellite electronics.
His breadth of experience includes transitioning new technology into profitable businesses and his blend of commercial and aerospace manufacturing experience gives him a unique ability to apply the appropriate manufacturing tools, processes and people to the needs of the business.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering and completed the Executive Management Strategies and Practices Program at Carnegie Mellon.
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Jessica (Jessi) Betjemann serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Gogo Businss Aviation. As CFO, Betjemann leads Gogo’s financial operations including financial planning and analysis, accounting, treasury, tax, and internal audit.
Betjemann brings more than two decades of experience building financial value and managing investment decisions for a variety of companies. She previously served as Gogo’s Senior Vice President of Finance, Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer since August 2021, after joining the company as Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis in August 2016. Notably, Betjemann helped lead Gogo through the sale of its Commercial Aviation division to Intelsat in December 2020, transforming Gogo into a private aviation-centric business.
Prior to joining Gogo in 2016, Betjemann served as Vice President of Strategic Business Planning at Nokia in 2016 and held several senior leadership roles in strategy and business operations at Alcatel-Lucent from 2007 to 2015. Prior to that, Betjemann held progressive strategy and finance roles at Lucent Technologies and AT&T.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and economics from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., and a Master of Business Administration degree in finance, marketing and international business from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
She resides in Naperville, Ill., with her husband and has two daughters currently attending college.
Senior Vice President,
Andy Geist is senior vice president at Gogo Business Aviation where he is responsible for new business development and all aspects of managing Gogo’s large fleet and charter accounts globally. Geist has a deep history in the aviation industry with more than 35 years of experience as a business entrepreneur and executive. In his two-plus decades with Gogo, he has been a central figure in helping build the company from a fledgling start-up to its standing today as an industry leader with global brand recognition.
Recruited by the original Aircell founders during the company’s start-up days (Aircell was rebranded Gogo Business Aviation in 2014), Geist has served in a variety of key leadership roles during his tenure with Gogo, managing sales and marketing, customer service and technical support, product management, sales engineering, and business development. In his current role, he is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of new business growth opportunities, all commercial aspects of Gogo’s large fleet fractional and charter operators, and commercial management of Gogo airtime service partners to include Iridium and Inmarsat.
Prior to Gogo, Geist worked in many aspects of flight operations, including flight crew/pilot and management at People Express Airlines, Continental/GP Express Airlines, Boeing/Jeppesen, and USAIG. He proceeded to launch several new business ventures within the private aerospace sector prior to joining Gogo, acting as CEO, founder, and co-founder. Those companies included pioneering a revolutionary ultrasonic aircraft inspection and repair program, a global aircraft parts, repair, sales and distribution company, and a 1031 tax exchange company that specialized in aircraft purchase transactions.
Geist holds a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace science and a Business Management degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado. He is also a current FAA-licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor in both single and multiengine aircraft, logging several thousand flight hours in a variety of general aviation and business aviation aircraft.
Senior Vice President, Customer Operations
Dave Glenn is senior vice president of customer operations for Gogo Business Aviation. In his current role, he directs many of the company’s customer-facing teams including tech and field support, aircraft applications engineering, network operations, training and data analytics. He drives a customer-centric approach to all aspects of the business, and his teams ensure Gogo’s products, processes and people support the best experience possible.
In his time with Gogo he’s overseen the team that ranked No. 1 in customer support for avionics in the Product Support Survey conducted by Aviation International News (AIN). In 2021 Gogo earned top billing in the annual survey, the ninth time Gogo finished first in the past 11 years.
Glenn has a diverse background with 25 years of experience across various industries including aviation, internet service provision and software support. Prior to Gogo he held leadership positions with the US Air Force, Covad Communications, and NICE Systems where he led global customer operations and support organizations. He has led global customer operations and support organizations that consisted of more than 1,000 personnel supporting customer bases of 500,000 and greater.
Additionally, Glenn has accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours as an evaluator navigator in the United States Air Force. He was a navigator aboard the C-130 Hercules, and was an Air Force 2 crewmember on the VC-137 in the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy; and a Master of Arts from Webster University.
Senior Vice President, Product & Marketing
Melissa Hale, a proven leader with a rich aviation background and 17 years of business experience, joined Gogo in May 2021 as senior vice president of product and marketing. In this role, she is responsible for driving alignment in Gogo’s product and marketing organizations to further deliver on client needs.
In the product organization, she will work to enhance Gogo’s AVANCE offerings and will lead the company’s 5G go-to market strategy.
Prior to joining Gogo, Hale was director of program avionics at Gulfstream Aerospace where she held a variety of leadership roles in operations, customer support, programs, engineering, and sales over 13 years with the company. Hale has early roots in aviation as a C-130 pilot. She spent eight years in the United States Airforce and the Georgia Air National Guard and is a combat veteran flying more than 200 missions. She is an expert in services, program management, and business aircraft systems.
Hale has a passion for leadership, change management, and alignment of amazing client experiences with high-performing businesses. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from The University of Texas at Austin and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgia Southern University.
Chief Strategy Officer
Gustavo Nader joined Gogo Business Aviation in May 2021 as chief strategy officer, with responsibility for the company’s overall business strategy, as well corporate and business development activities as the company progresses in its technology evolution.
Nader is a seasoned satellite and telecommunications industry veteran holding senior leadership positions in strategy, corporate and business development. Prior to joining Gogo he was the head of strategy for Thales InFlyt Experience, where he led the Thales Group’s global strategic initiatives for inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC).
During the past 30 years, Nader served as vice president of international corporate development with Echostar, focused on the development of international satellite and spectrum assets for fixed and mobile satellite services. He’s also held senior positions at Inmarsat, Ligado Networks and T-Mobile (formerly Sprint Nextel) driving organic and inorganic growth through a unique blend of technology expertise and business strategy acumen.
He holds a doctoral degree and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).
Senior Vice President, Sales
Mark Sander is in his 17th year with Gogo Business Aviation and currently the senior vice president of sales. He leads a talented team that serves all business aviation OEM aircraft manufacturers worldwide, a global network of aftermarket dealer partners, and Gogo’s distinguished aircraft owners and operators.
For the past 22 years, Sander has worked in business aviation in a variety of roles including sales, marketing, and account management. He enjoys the business aviation industry because it allows space for creativity, bold problem solving and working with exceptional people who share a passion for aviation.
A graduate of the University of North Dakota’s school of Aviation Management, he holds a degree in Aviation Management as well as being a licensed Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor. He has served on several boards including the Colorado and Iowa Cystic Fibrosis Advisory Board. Sander also serves his local community as a member of Kiwanis.
Sander is married and has twin daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family at their home in Iowa.
Senior Vice President, Technology & Operations
Michael Syverson is the senior vice president of technology and operations at Gogo Business Aviation. In this role, he oversees the design, development and delivery of the products and services Gogo provides to the business aviation marketplace.
More specifically, Syverson is responsible for product engineering (both software and hardware), certifications, application development, program management, supply chain, manufacturing, and production operations.
During his tenure with Gogo, he’s overseen the development of a multitude of products including Gogo Vision, Gogo Text & Talk, and Gogo Biz 4G, in addition to business systems products.
Syverson has more than 20 years of experience developing and delivering technology and operations excellence across several industries including aviation, Internet and telecommunications. Prior to joining Gogo, he led various technology and program management organizations for several leading brands including U.S. Cellular, Orbitz, KPMG, and McDonnell Douglas.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Missouri and is a certified public accountant by the state of Missouri. In addition, he holds Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.