Friday, 11 October 2019

Three Space and Aviation Industry Veterans Agree to Join Board of Directors of Virgin Galactic Holdings


Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. and Virgin Galactic announced that Wanda Austin, Craig Kreeger and George Mattson have agreed to join the board of directors of Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. ("VGH"), the company resulting from the pending business combination transaction involving SCH and Virgin Galactic. The board appointments are contingent on approval by SCH's shareholders and the completion of the business combination between SCH and Virgin Galactic.

Upon the closing of the business combination transaction and election by the SCH shareholders, VGH's board of directors (the "Board") will consist of eight members, who are expected to bring a wealth of expertise and experience across technology, aviation, space, international markets, operational and financial management.

The latest proposed nominees to the Board are:


- Wanda Austin, who previously served as the President and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, the nation's preeminent space mission assurance organization. She currently serves as a board member for Amgen, Chevron Corporation and the Space Foundation. From 2015 to January 2017, Dr. Austin served on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. She has also served on the U.S. Human Spaceflight Review Committee from 2009 to 2010 and the NASA Advisory Council from 2005 to 2007 and 2014 to 2017.

- Craig Kreeger, who served as CEO of Virgin Atlantic from February 2013 through December 2018. Prior to his tenure at Virgin Atlantic, Craig spent 27 years at American Airlines where he held a variety of commercial, operational, financial and strategic roles.

- George Mattson, who has extensive professional and financial experience as a public company director in the airline industry. He has served as a director for Delta Air Lines, Inc. since October 2012 and on the board of directors of the Air France KLM Group since November 2017. Prior to this, George spent 18 years in investment banking at Goldman, Sachs & Co. from 1994 to 2012 and served as a Partner and Co-Head of the Global Industrials Group from 2002 to 2012.

The other individuals nominated for election to the Board include:

Chamath Palihapitiya, current SCH CEO and director, who will serve as the Chairman of the Board;
Adam Bain, former COO of Twitter and current SCH director;
Evan Lovell, Partner of Virgin Group Holdings Limited;
James Ryans, current SCH director and chairman of the audit committee; and
George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, who will serve as CEO of VGH following the consummation of the business combination.

Mr. Whitesides said: "We're delighted to announce that Wanda, George and Craig have agreed to be nominated for election to the Board. I believe they will provide strong leadership, invaluable insight and effective governance at an exciting stage in our development and I look forward to working closely with the Board to continue building our business towards commercial service."

Mr. Palihapitiya said: "The addition of Wanda, Craig and George as highly experienced directors should bring significant aerospace, airline and listed company experience to VGH. The board has extensive experience with identifying, investing in and taking advantage of market opportunities. Together we will help ensure that VGH continues to be a market leader and make the right investments to facilitate our growth."


Virgin Galactic is a vertically-integrated aerospace company pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers. It believes the commercial exploration of space represents one of the most exciting and significant technology initiatives of our time. It is embarking on this commercial exploration journey with a mission to put humans into space and return them safely to Earth on a routine, consistent and affordable basis. Using its proprietary and reusable technologies, and supported by a distinctive, Virgin–branded customer experience, it is developing a spaceflight system designed to offer customers a unique, multi-day experience culminating in a spaceflight that includes several minutes of weightlessness and views of Earth from space. It is in the final stages of development, having already completed two crewed flights of its vehicle into space, and anticipates initial commercial launch in 2020.











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