Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides leaves his post

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After around 10 years in the position
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Whitesides
  • Michael Colglazier taking over
  • Whitesides will remain as Chief Space Officer at Virgin Galactic
  • Whitesides said 115 words

(exechange) — Mojave, California, July 15, 2020 — George Whitesides, chief executive of Virgin Galactic, leaves his position. As announced by Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, George Whitesides leaves his post as chief executive officer at the aerospace and space travel company after around 10 years in the role, effective July 20, 2020.

George Whitesides’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Michael Colglazier, most recently President and Managing Director, Disney Parks International of The Walt Disney Company.

“The Company progresses through its test flight program and prepares for commercial service”

George Whitesides’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Virgin Galactic said: “Michael assumes the CEO role at an exciting time for Virgin Galactic as the Company progresses through its test flight program and prepares for commercial service. He will also join the Company’s Board of Directors effective July 20, 2020.”

Whitesides will remain as Chief Space Officer at Virgin Galactic

“Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (“Virgin Galactic”), a vertically integrated aerospace and space travel company, today announced the appointments of Michael Colglazier as Virgin Galactic’s new Chief Executive Officer and George Whitesides as Chief Space Officer, effective July 20, 2020,” Virgin Galactic said.

“Not as a result of any disagreement”

“[O]n July 10, 2020, Mr. Whitesides tendered his resignation from the Board, effective with his ceasing to serve as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, and the Board approved Mr. Colglazier’s appointment to the Board effective with Mr. Whitesides’ departure. Mr. Whitesides’ resignation was not as a result of any disagreement with the Company or any matter relating to the Company’s operation, policies or practices, and Mr. Colglazier will serve on the Board until the Company’s annual meeting of stockholders to be held in 2021 and until his successor is duly elected and qualified or until his earlier death, resignation or removal,” Virgin Galactic said.

Share price increase since January 2020

The announcement follows an increase in Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc.’s share price of 56% since January 2020.

Chaired by Chamath Palihapitiya

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. is chaired by Chamath Palihapitiya.

Palihapitiya has served as the Chairperson of the Company’s Board of Directors since May 2017.

In the position of CEO since 2010

George Whitesides became CEO of the Company in 2010.

George Whitesides will assume the role of Chief Space Officer, focused on developing the Company’s future business opportunities, including point-to-point hypersonic travel and orbital space travel.

George Whitesides will also chair the Company’s Space Advisory Board, and in conjunction with his new role will step down from the Company’s Board of Directors.

Whitesides has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors since the closing of the Virgin Galactic Business Combination in October 2019, and has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the VG Companies since May 2010.

Prior to joining the VG Companies, Whitesides served as Chief of Staff for NASA from July 2009 to April 2010, and served on the NASA Transition Team from November 2008 to January 2009.

Upon departure from the American space agency, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency confers.

Whitesides has served on various governmental and charitable boards in his career, such as chair of the Reusable Launch Vehicle Work Group for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee, and as a member of the board of Virgin Unite USA, a charitable entity related to Virgin Group Holdings Limited and its affiliates (collectively, the “Virgin Group”).

Whitesides has also served on the executive committee of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry association (currently as Vice Chair), Caltech’s Space Innovation Council, Princeton University’s Advisory Council for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies (as Co-Chair and Member).

Whitesides graduated from Princeton University with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, earned an MPhil in geographic information systems and remote sensing from the University of Cambridge and was a Fulbright Scholar.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Virgin Galactic and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 29.2020 ($).