In one of the largest layoffs ever conducted, Virgin Orbit is all set to lay off 85% of its workforce. The layoffs span all departments, and the company will pay around $8.8 million in severance payments.
Virgin Orbit is laying off 85% of its workforce due to its inability to secure additional funding to keep the company afloat.
This news comes just two weeks after the company furloughed all employees and entered an “operational pause” in order to find more cash. Even Richard Branson, the majority owner of the company, who threw upwards of $55 million into the sinking space company in recent months, is done funding the company.
The layoffs span all departments, and the company will pay around $8.8 million in severance payments and employee benefits costs, plus a separate $6.5 million related to outplacement services and regulatory compliance. Virgin Orbit can claim four successful missions using its unique system, which uses a modified Boeing 747 to release a rocket mid-flight.
The company’s most recent mission, from Cornwall, U.K., failed due to an issue with the rocket’s second stage, posing a major blow to Virgin’s plans to continue launching this year. Shares of Virgin Orbit have tanked to just $0.34, down from $1.32 at the beginning of the month.
This is indeed a sad time for the space industry and we hope Virgin Orbit bounces back from this setback.
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