08 February 2022

Virgin Galactic Welcomes Blair Rich

CBO Announcement

Veteran marketing innovator will lead Company’s commercial and consumer business and evolution of iconic consumer brand

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – February 7, 2022 – Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (the “Company” or “Virgin Galactic”), an aerospace and space travel company, announced today that Blair Rich has been appointed President and Chief Business Officer, Commercial and Consumer Operations as the company prepares for the launch of commercial service later this year. In this newly created role, Rich will lead all aspects of the Company’s commercial strategy including sales, marketing, business and product development, communications, operations, and customer experience.

Rich has more than two decades of experience building some of the world’s most recognizable global brands. Most recently, she served as President of Worldwide Marketing for Warner Bros.’ Theatrical and Home Entertainment divisions. For the past year, she has served as a consultant and strategic advisor to Virgin Galactic. During that time, she helped the Company develop and grow its commercial strategy, including the marketing for Sir Richard Branson’s inaugural spaceflight as a member of the Unity 22 crew, which was viewed by tens of millions of people around the world.

“We’re delighted to welcome Blair to our growing organization and executive leadership team,” said Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier. “Blair brings a unique consumer-centric perspective to our company, with an incredible blend of business, digital and creative experience that she honed working on some of the most iconic brands in the entertainment industry. We are creating an entirely new kind of experience that begins at the moment of sale and extends for years after the journey to space. Blair has the vision, dynamic strategy skills and creativity to innovate on all levels. This year will be an important one for all of us at Virgin Galactic, and her leadership will be critical as we launch commercial service.”

Prior to Virgin Galactic, Rich spent 23 years at Warner Bros. Entertainment, starting as an intern and rising to lead worldwide marketing for the company. In this role, she oversaw a global team of over 700, encompassing creative advertising, publicity, media, digital and data, partnerships, research and multicultural marketing that launched an average of 20 films per year. Rich was integral in establishing and shaping some of the most successful films and franchises in the entertainment industry, including Harry Potter and the DC Multiverse. She also serves on the board of LA Family Housing.

Rich said: “It is a rare opportunity to build a business at the forefront of an entirely new industry. Working with the Virgin Galactic team over the past year has been incredible, and I’m passionate about growing the company to enable people around the world to experience the wonder and awe of space. We are creating a unique, emotional and deeply meaningful customer journey that will anchor our business. I am humbled to be a part of this amazing group of professionals whose ability to deliver transformative experience is unmatched.”

Virgin Galactic board member Adam Bain added, “Blair pushes boundaries and has a unique knack for generating consumer insights and translating that into successful strategies in the market, making her an ideal executive for this role.”

As part of this appointment, Virgin Galactic is also simplifying its reporting structure under Colglazier. Rich will be one of three Business Unit leaders, joining President, Space Missions and Safety Mike Moses, and President, Aerospace Systems Swami Iyer. These three business leaders will report directly to Colglazier, along with Aparna Chitale, Chief People Officer; Michelle Kley, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Virgin Galactic Holdings; and Doug Ahrens, Chief Financial Officer.

About Virgin Galactic Holdings

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. is an aerospace and space travel company, pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers with its advanced air and space vehicles. It is developing a spaceflight system designed to connect the world to the wonder and awe created by space travel and to offer customers a transformative experience. You can find more information at https://www.virgingalactic.com/.





George T. Whitesides is the Chair of the Space Advisory Board, where he is responsible for bringing together aerospace leaders to advise the Virgin Galactic senior management team on the journey towards regular commercial spaceflight, developing the next generation vehicles and exploring new opportunities. Previously, George served as the Chief Space Officer of Virgin Galactic, spearheading the development of future technologies, including high speed, point-to-point travel and orbital flight, after stepping down as CEO in 2020.

George joined Virgin Galactic in 2010 as Chief Executive Officer. During George’s 10 years with the Company, he built the company from 30 people to a workforce of over 900, successfully guiding Virgin Galactic through its human space flight R&D and flight test program, culminating in two space flights. These historic flights saw the first humans launched into space from US soil since the retirement of the Space Shuttle, as well as the first woman to fly on a commercial space vehicle. George led the transition of operations from Mojave, California to Spaceport America, New Mexico, and oversaw the company’s successful public listing making it a multi-billion dollar company and creating the world’s first publicly traded human spaceflight venture.

Prior to Virgin Galactic, George served as Chief of Staff for NASA. Upon departure from the American space agency, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency confers.

George’s volunteer service includes Caltech’s Space Innovation Council, Princeton University’s Advisory Council for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the Antelope Valley Economic Development & Growth Enterprise. He is a fellow of the UK Royal Aeronautical Society and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

He previously served as Vice Chair of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, chair of the Reusable Launch Vehicle Working Group for the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of Virgin Galactic, a member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton University, co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies, and the Board of Virgin Unite USA. George has testified on American space policy before the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. An honors graduate of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, George later earned a master’s degree in geographic information systems and remote sensing from the University of Cambridge, and a Fulbright Scholarship to Tunisia. George is a licensed private pilot and certified parabolic flight coach.

He resides in California with his wife Loretta and two children.




Colonel Chris Hadfield is a heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and test pilot who has commanded the International Space Station. Formerly NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia and veteran of three spaceflights, Hadfield’s many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Hadfield is a three-time NYT bestselling author, a renowned musician, an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo, chair of the board of the Open Lunar Foundation, and host of several internationally acclaimed television series. In addition, Hadfield leads the space stream at the Creative Destruction Lab, one of the world’s top tech incubators.




Dr. Sandra H. “Sandy” Magnus is the Principal at AstroPlanetview, LLC. Most recently she served as the Deputy Director of Engineering in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for the Undersecretary of Research and Engineering. In that role she served as the “Chief Engineer” for the Department of Defense establishing engineering policy, propagating best practices and working to connect the engineering community across the department.

Dr. Magnus is the former Executive Director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Prior to leading AIAA, she was a member of the NASA Astronaut Corps for 16 years. During her time at NASA she flew in space on the STS-112 shuttle mission in 2002, and on the final shuttle flight, STS-135, in 2011. In addition, she flew to the International Space Station on STS-126 in November 2008, served as flight engineer and science officer on Expedition 18, and returned home on STS-119 after four and a half months on board.

Following her assignment on Station, she served at NASA Headquarters in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Her last duty at NASA, after STS-135, was as the deputy chief of the Astronaut Office.

While at NASA, Dr. Magnus worked extensively with the international community, including the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), as well as with Brazil on facility-type payloads. She also spent time in Russia developing and integrating operational products and procedures for the International Space Station.

Before joining NASA, Dr. Magnus worked for McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company as a stealth engineer. While at McDonnell Douglas, she worked on internal R&D and on the Navy’s A-12 Attack Aircraft program.

Dr. Magnus has received numerous awards, including the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the 40 at 40 Award (given to former collegiate women athletes to recognize the impact of Title IX).




Dr. David A. Whelan is the SVP Chief-Scientist of Cubic Corporation. Dr. Whelan retired from Boeing in 2017, as the Vice President, Engineering (BDS) and Board of Directors for HRL Laboratories. Whelan served as Director of the Tactical Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and began his career at Northrop as designer of the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Whelan is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Physical Society and IEEE. He earned his Ph.D. Physics from UCLA; He holds over 75 US patents.