Virgin Orbit shuts operations, to lay off all workforce

Virgin Orbit shuts operations, to lay off all workforce

Virgin Orbit is ceasing operations after failing to secure a funding lifeline, CEO Dan Hart told employees during an all-hands meeting Thursday afternoon. The company will lay off nearly all of its workforce.

The company will eliminate all but 100 positions, amounting to about 90% of the workforce, Hart said, noting the layoffs will affect every team and department. In a securities filing, the company said the layoffs constituted 675 positions, or approximately 85%.

Virgin Orbit will “provide a severance package for every departing” employee, Hart said, with a cash payment, extension of benefits, and support in finding a new position — with a direct pipeline set up with sister company Virgin Galactic for hiring.

Virgin Orbit is a spaceflight company that was founded in 2017 by Sir Richard Branson. The company specializes in launching small satellites into orbit using its LauncherOne rocket system, which is launched from a modified Boeing 747 aircraft.

Virgin Orbit, the spaceflight company founded by Richard Branson, has faced significant financial difficulties in recent years, according to industry insiders. The company, which specializes in launching small satellites into orbit, has struggled to generate revenue and has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, Virgin Orbit announced layoffs and pay cuts in response to the pandemic, and the company has also sought to raise additional funding from investors. However, sources say that the company’s financial position remains precarious, with high development costs and competition from other spaceflight companies weighing heavily on its balance sheet.

Virgin Orbit has also faced technical challenges, including several launch failures in recent years. While the company has successfully launched some satellites into orbit, these setbacks have been costly and have further strained its finances.

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