Richard Branson’s rocket company, Virgin Orbit, fired 675 employees, or around 85% of its workforce, after failing to acquire crucial financing.
According to its CEO Dan Hart, Virgin Orbit has stopped operating “for the foreseeable future.”
“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to raise enough money to give this business a clear way forward.” As a result, we are forced to make drastic adjustments immediately, which will be incredibly painful,” Dan Hart informed the staff.
Approximately 675 employees, or 85% of the company’s employment, would be let go, the company said in a US securities filing, “To minimise expenses in light of the company’s inability to acquire sufficient funding.”
All departments of the business are affected. The company predicted that the relocation would result in overall costs of around 15 million, principally made up of USD 8.8 million in severance payments and employee USD benefits expenses and USD 6.5 million in additional costs, primarily associated with outplacement services and WARN Act exposure.
“Most of these costs are anticipated to be recognised by the company in the first quarter of 2023. It expects the force reduction to be essentially finished by April 3, 2023,” the document read.
After splitting off from Virgin Galactic, its sister firm, Richard Branson, launched Virgin Orbit in 2017.
Virgin Orbit has been working on the Launcher One air-launched rocket, which will carry tiny satellites into orbit.
The first attempt to launch satellites into orbit from UK soil was abruptly ended in January when an “anomaly” occurred with the rocket carrying the satellites.
A Virgin Orbit spokeswoman stated on March 15 that an inquiry into that unsuccessful mission “is almost complete, and our next production rocket with the appropriate change incorporated is in final stages of integration and test.”