Sir Richard Branson‘s Virgin Galactic is pushing things into high gear, with the recent appointment of two heavy hitters. At the start of July it announced the appointment of Doug Shane as Executive Vice President and General Manager of The Spaceship Company (TSC) which as you might remember from reading here, began as a joint venture between Virgin and Scaled Composites (Scaled) to build a fleet of spaceships. Shane will be overseeing the manufacturing company and it looks like they could not have picked a better person. His 31 year career at Scaled saw him being their test pilot, Director of Flight Operations and VP of Business Development, before serving as President for the past five years after the retirement of company founder Burt Rutan.
Then 2 weeks later, it made another big appointment by making Steven J. Isakowitz President of Virgin Galactic, where he already served as Executive Vice President and CTO since joining in 2011. This is a man who worked for NASA, was the CFO of the U.S. Department of Energy through two presidential administrations, served as Branch Chief of Science and Space Programs at the White House and was an aerospace engineer and project manager for Lockheed Martin. Bags of experience would be an understatement!
Virgin Galactic seems to be on track to become the world’s first commercial spaceline alright, making the right moves to establish itself as the benchmark organisation as it expands in preparation for commercial operations. 2014 is going to be one exciting year!