David Margolese


Sirius Satellite Radio

David Margolese, who founded Sirius in 1990, puts his money where his mouth is: He owns 17.4% of the would-be satellite-radio provider.

Margolese, 42, is a born entrepreneur-and a successful one at that. He started Sirius after founding a paging company that grew into Canada's national cellular telephone service, Rogers Cantel Mobile Communications Inc. (Rogers is now principally owned by AT & T Corp. and British Telecommunications PLC; Margolese divested the last of his holdings in 1989.)

He also started small in the United States, investing $1 million of his own money into what was then called CD Radio Inc. In 1990, CD Radio became the first applicant at the FCC for the nation's two satellite-radio licenses. It changed its name to Sirius Satellite Radio last November.

Though basically unknown to consumers now, satellite radio has the same potential that cell phones did, Margolese says. And cell phones, he notes, are "virtually everywhere now."

Commuters particularly will be drawn to his national service, Margolese says. After getting the latest local news, weather and traffic from a local AM or FM station, they will settle in to listen to CD-quality music via satellite for the remainder of the trip, he predicts. "What [else] would you do with the other 45 minutes?"