Sir Richard Branson resigns as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One
Sir Richard Branson has resigned as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, the company has confirmed in a statement.
The statement said Branson was stepping down due to the increased commitment of time the position requires.
The announcement comes less than a week after Richard Branson paused investment talks with Riyadh [around the proposed US$1 billion investment in Virgin Galactic space venture] following the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“For the first time in more than 20 years, I took on a Chairman’s role last year to help Virgin Hyperloop One through a transitional period,” Branson said in a statement. “We have since secured key agreements in India, Spain and are working with a number of US States to further develop this exciting technology.”
“At this stage in the company’s evolution, I feel it needs a more hands-on Chair, who can focus on the business and these opportunities,” he added. “It will be difficult for me to fulfil that commitment as I already devote significant time to my philanthropic ventures and the many businesses within the Virgin Group.”
DP World, the largest investor in the Virgin Hyperloop One concept, with plans to operate the CargoSpeed freight arm of the venture, said in its own statement that it would remain a key stakeholder.
“We aim to add value to nations for the long term, delivering innovative and sustainable solutions for the benefit of all,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sualyem, group chairman and CEO of DP World.
“DP World is the largest shareholder in Virgin Hyperloop One because we see the need for a hyperloop-enabled cargo network under the CargoSpeed brand, launched earlier this year, to support rapid, on-demand deliveries globally,” added Bin Sualyem, who is also a board member of Virgin Hyperloop One.
“This technology serves our vision to enable smarter trade globally,” he said.