Saturday, 18 July 2020

Virgin Galactic names Michael Colglazier as its new CEO

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. announced this week the appointments of Michael Colglazier as its new Chief Executive Officer.  
Virgin Galactic's current CEO, George Whitesides and new CEO, Michael Colglazier

Michael assumes the CEO role just as the space firm progresses through its test flight programme and prepares for commercial service. He will also join the Board of Directors. Most recently Michael was President and Managing Director, Disney Parks International, where he was responsible for operations, strategy, and commercial and experiential development of Disney’s international parks and resorts.

Michael Colglazier said, “I am thrilled to join the talented team at Virgin Galactic at this inflection point in the Company’s journey. Like so many others, including hundreds of signed-up customers, I have been inspired by this purpose-driven, world-class brand and the incredible opportunity it offers to open space to change the world for good."

George Whitesides has been appointed as Chief Space Officer, focused on developing the Virgin Galactic's future business opportunities, including point-to-point hypersonic travel and orbital space travel. He joined Virgin Galactic in 2010 as its first CEO, after serving as Chief of Staff at NASA. During the past decade, he has built the Company from 30 people to a workforce of over 900 today, and he has successfully guided Virgin Galactic through its human space flight research and development program as well as the progress to date in its flight test program, culminating in two successful space flights. 

George Whitesides Said: ‘’Serving as the first CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company for the past ten years has been the honour and adventure of a lifetime. The next decade for Virgin Galactic will be commercially-focused, and it is the perfect moment for us to bring a visionary commercial leader like Michael to take the Company forward."

"George’s vision and outstanding leadership have enabled Virgin Galactic to reach this point, and I am excited to work with him in his role as Chief Space Officer where he will spearhead our future development efforts." Colglazier said.

Sir Richard Branson said, “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."

Branson continued “At the same time, we are delighted to welcome Michael as the new Chief Executive to lead Galactic into commercial operations. 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.”

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