GTE Corp., completing a reorganization designed to give greater importance to its communications satellite subsidiary, GTE Spacenet Corp., has promoted C. J. Waylan to president, a new position at the 3-year-old division.

Waylan, 43, has been executive vice president and general manager of Spacenet since 1982, when GTE acquired it and its affiliate, GTE Sprint, from Southern Pacific Co. of San Francisco. GTE Sprint remains based in the Bay area, while GTE Spacenet is based in McLean.

GTE Spacenet, which has assets of about $750 million, carries most of Sprint's telephone traffic, as well as other voice, video and data traffic.

Under the new organization, Waylan will report directly to James L. Broadhead, senior vice president of the Stamford, Conn.-based GTE and president of GTE's communications division.

Geoffrey Pickard, a spokesman for GTE, said the appointment "cements the importance" of the Spacenet subsidiary.

Waylan, who holds a PhD from the Naval Postgraduate School, received most of his telecommunications training from the U.S. Navy. Between 1974 and 1979, he established and managed the Navy's leased satellite communications program. Much of his naval research has been incorporated into the current military communications satellite project (MILSTAR), according to Spacenet spokesman William Brobst.

Waylan will continue to manage Spacenet's network of two satellites and 11 earth stations through the satellite network operation center in McLean.