Virgin Orbit officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday after failing to secure adequate funding following a failed rocket launch earlier this year.
Just a few weeks ago, the Richard Branson-founded company cut 90% of its workforce and put itself on “operational pause” until the satellite launch company could find an investor strong enough to help pay off the debt.
On Tuesday, the now-defunct company’s chief operating officer, Tony Gingis, there were a few choice words about how the whole situation was described in the memo viewed
Gingiss, who served as chief operating officer for 26 months, complained to employees that they “deserve more” before delving into apologetics, including failing to help Virgin Orbit “avoid this outcome” and “an abrupt ending” companies.
“This chapter is ready, but our book is not finished yet,” he wrote. “I know what a talented team you are as most of you were part of my engineering team and the rest of you worked so closely with us as our partners to do the amazing things we did. I know what good people you are and what a great influence you have made and will continue to make.”
Gingis also (somewhat subtly) addressed senior management in his memo, telling his former team that he was sorry that he “couldn’t convince our leader and board to go the other way to give us more time to sort things out.”
Connected: Virgin Orbit shares plummet as historic launch fails due to ‘anomaly’
He concluded by telling employees that they can turn to him for any kind of support — both emotional and physical — as they look for new job opportunities — and tried to keep the spirits up even as the company was closing.
“Boldly embark on your next adventure and bring that special you you brought to Virgin Orbit,” he said. “While we failed to make Virgin Orbit a force in the industry, we must use this event to spread our talents, dreams, creativity and energy to industries and the world to make them better. so, on some level, it will all be worth it.”
The past month has been a tough one for Virgin Orbit employees, who were first laid off without pay (although they were able to trade days off for immediate compensation) before ultimately losing their jobs.
On the subject: Virgin Orbit fell more than 30% after the layoff of most employees and the start of an “operational pause”
The company was originally founded in 2017 and then went public through a merger with NextGen Acquisition Corp. II.
In January 2023, Virgin Orbit’s mission suffered a rocket launch failure that was written off as an “anomaly” that caused the company to lose nine major satellites and subsequently saw shares drop 20% in premarket. It was one of the final blows to a company that seemed unable to provide stable financial support to advance its activities.