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Jul 15, 2020

Virgin Galactic picks Disney veteran as CEO before first flight

GETTY IMAGES - Michael Colglazier

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Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. named Michael Colglazier as chief executive officer, replacing George Whitesides, who will become the company’s chief space officer.

Colglazier’s appointment takes effect July 20, the space tourism company said in a statement Wednesday. Colglazier, a former Walt Disney Co. executive, will also join Virgin Galactic’s board.

The sudden change comes two weeks before Virgin Galactic plans to reveal the interior design of its spacecraft cabin. The company has been working to develop a business flying people to space starting this year, a schedule that could be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“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 in the statement.