Virgin Galactic Appoints Former Disney Executive as New CEO

Virgin Galactic names former Disney executive Michael Colglazier as new CEO.
Virgin Galactic’s current CEO, George Whitesides and new CEO, Michael Colglazier | Image credit: Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic has announced that former Disney Executive, Michael Colglazier will take over as CEO from George Whitesides. Colglazier is expected to lead the commercial spaceflight company through the final stages of testing and into commercial flight.

Michael Colglazier was officially announced as the new CEO of Virgin Galactic on July 15. Colglazier will officially take over from the current Chief Executive, George Whitesides on July 20. Whitesides is expected to stay on as the company’s “Chief Space Officer.”

The appointment of Colglazier appears to outline a distinct shift in direction for Virgin Galactic.

Whitesides was appointed as CEO of Virgin Galactic in 2010. He had previously served as NASA Chief of Staff, Executive Director of the National Space Society, and as a board member for Astronomers Without Borders and the Space Generation Foundation. His focus was, as a result, that of a more traditional aerospace appointee who values procedure and assurances of safety.

Colglazier, on the other hand, has spent the last 26 years working his way up the Walt Disney Company ladder. To accept the potion at Virgin Galactic, Colglazier resigned from his role as President and Managing Director of Disney Parks International. The role was focused on crafting entertaining customer experiences.

The inference of this comparison is merely speculation. However, it appears to indicate that Virgin Galactic has completed the bulk of the hard work and are now looking to craft an unmatched experience to tap into a potentially billion-dollar market. This would, of course, be the most optimistic reading of what little facts are available.

As Virgin Galactic approaches its first commercial flight, the company has announced the first virtual tour of the SpaceShipTwo spaceplane’s cabin will be broadcast on July 28.

Andrew Parsonson is a space enthusiast and the founder of Rocket Rundown. He has worked as a journalist and blogger for various industries for over 5 years and has a passion for both fictional and real-life space travel. Currently, Andrew is the primary writer for Rocket Rundown as we look to expand our reach and credibility.