Virgin Orbit Is Ceasing Operations And Laying Off Its Entire Workforce

Virgin Orbit, the small satellite launch company founded by billionaire Richard Branson, is ceasing operations “for the foreseeable future” due to its failure to secure additional funding, according to CEO Dan Hart.

During an all-hands company meeting, Hart informed the employees that the company was unable to secure the funding necessary to keep it afloat. Hart also stated that the company will lay off nearly all of its workforce, with only 100 positions remaining.

“This would be probably the hardest all-hands that we’ve ever done in my life,” Hart said on the call. “We have no choice but to implement immediate, dramatic, and extremely painful changes.”

Virgin Orbit has been struggling to secure funding for several months, and late-stage deal talks had fallen through with a pair of investors over the weekend. Despite the ongoing discussions, the company was forced to make the difficult decision to cease operations.

The layoffs will affect every team and department, according to Hart. In a securities filing, the company said the layoffs constituted 675 positions or approximately 85%. The company will provide a severance package for every departing employee, including a cash payment, an extension of benefits, and support in finding a new position.

“We will work with you to help find new employment, and we have set up a direct pipeline with Virgin Galactic to hire,” Hart said.

Virgin Orbit was spun out of Branson’s Virgin Galactic in 2017 and counts Branson as its largest stakeholder, with 75% ownership. The company has launched six missions since 2020, with four successes and two failures. It has been looking for new funds for several months, with Branson unwilling to fund the company further.

The company’s failure to secure funding has resulted in the company ceasing operations “for the foreseeable future,” leaving nearly all of its workforce laid off. Despite the difficult decision, the company will provide a severance package for departing employees, including support in finding new positions.

Virgin Orbit has been struggling to secure funding for several months, and the failure to secure it has ultimately led to the company’s closure.

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