Virgin Galactic changing CEOs, bringing on Disney’s Michael Colglazier

Virgin Galactic’s chief house officer George Whitesides, left, and chief govt officer Michael Colglazier.

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic introduced on Wednesday that George Whitesides would step apart as CEO, with the house tourism enterprise appointing former Disney govt Michael Colglazier.

Whitesides will keep on with the corporate in a brand new position, serving as its chief house officer.

“I want to thank George for his outstanding leadership of Virgin Galactic over the last decade. He has shown dedication and determination as its first CEO to build the Company from early stage development through to space flight, the first from American soil since the retirement of the Space Shuttle,” Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson mentioned in an announcement.

Colglazier was most just lately the president and managing director of Disney Parks International, the fruits of greater than 30 years on the media and leisure large.

“I believe Michael’s long and distinguished career at one of the world’s leading customer experience brands provides a natural fit with Virgin’s culture as well as Galactic’s requirements as it prepares for commercial service,” Branson mentioned.

The CEO changeover can be efficient subsequent Monday. Whitesides may even step down fro Virgin Galactic’s board of administrators, with Colglazier taking his place.

“Michael’s skillset is highly complementary to that of the incredible team that we have at Virgin Galactic. He has considerable commercial and managerial experience and a proven track record of successfully commercializing new and innovative products and services all over the world,” Virgin Galactic chairman Chamath Palihapitiya mentioned in an announcement.

Shares of Virgin Galactic rose greater than 5% in after-hours buying and selling from its shut of $18.55.

Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides

CNBC | Michael Sheetz

Whitesides has served because the CEO of the corporate for 10 years, rising the corporate from a staff of 30 to its present workforce of over 900. He has led the corporate via instances of each problem and triumph, together with a deadly accident throughout testing in 2014 and its first two profitable spaceflights final 12 months. In the previous few months, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, Whitesides transitioned the corporate from its testing facility in California’s Mojave Desert to its working base at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Virgin Galactic is steadily closing in on launching its industrial service, with the corporate seeking to clear remaining milestones with just a few extra spaceflight checks.

The firm mentioned that Whitesides new position could have him focus on creating Virgin Galactic’s future enterprise, together with its extra long-term alternatives like hypersonic journey.

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