John Steven “Jake” MacLeod, a long-time communications industry veteran who held positions at Powerwave Technologies, Bechtel and Hughes Network Systems in network design, deployment and operations, died from pneumonia and COVID-19 on Friday.
Ted Abrams of Abrams Wireless, gave this remembrance, “Jake MacLeod, my friend and brother, will be long remembered by wireless veterans as a legend in the industry. I miss him already.”
Jake was a thought leader who gave generously of his time and talent to the wireless industry as he eased into retirement, writing white papers for the Wireless Infrastructure Association. He headed WIA’s Innovation & Technology Council (ITC) when it launched in 2016.
“Many of us at WIA and among our members are deeply saddened over the passing of Jake MacLeod,” said Jonathan Adelstein, president and CEO of WIA. “Jake was big and strong of body, mind, spirit, and character. Losing a man so large leaves an unfillable void. Under his leadership, ITC produced major white papers that had a big impact not only for our diverse membership and industry, but also to policy makers and regulators in Washington, D.C., and in states and municipalities across the country.
“It’s testament to Jake’s stature and the respect with which he was held that he was able to convene and inspire subject matter experts to share their time and knowledge with the greater wireless community. We offer our deepest condolences to his family and will work with his many friends to find a way to honor his memory at the appropriate time when we best can,” Adelstein added.
Jake was a helpful source to AGL Media Group for news articles and spoke at numerous AGL regional meetings. He was always willing to help the organization with its mission of educating the wireless industry. His manner was warm and avuncular. He had a home-spun way of talking about technology that made it feel more like he was swapping hunting stories.
Most recently, he began Gray Beards Consulting in 2009 to provide consulting services to government and commercial entities regarding communications network design, deployment and operations.
Before that, he served as executive vice president of the Government Solutions Business Unit (GSBU) for Powerwave Technologies, which focused on the public safety, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Defense markets. Jake spearheaded the public safety DAS network design and deployment plans for the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System program, the predecessor to FirstNet.
Jake spent 10 years with Bechtel as principal vice president, chief technology officer and Bechtel Fellow, where he was responsible for the development of Bechtel’s network planning and network optimization engineering teams of more than 150 people. His many accomplishments include:
Prior to Bechtel, Jake spent nine years with Hughes Network Systems where he designed and deployed advanced wireless communications technologies in Russia, the United States and Indonesia. Jake started his career as a transmission engineer in 1978 with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in San Antonio, Texas.
Jake’s celebration of life and love will be at 11:00 am Central, Jan. 14. You may live-stream the service at:
Log in just moments before 11:00 and the live-stream will be available.