Virgin Orbit ceases operations: 90 percent will be laid off

Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart announced the news at the company’s general meeting on Thursday afternoon, March 30, according to CNBC’s Michael Sheetz.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to secure the financing that would provide a clear path for this company. We have no choice but to implement urgent, dramatic and extremely painful changes,” Hart said on Thursday, according to Sheetz, who obtained the audio recordings of the meeting.

Virgin Orbit has been struggling with a difficult financial situation for weeks.

The company, which is part of billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, ceased operations on March 15 and put most of its employees on unpaid leave as it struggled to secure enough financing to move forward.

About a week ago, the company seemed close to catching a $200 million investment from Texas-based entrepreneur Matthew Brown. But apparently that deal fell through.

Adding to its financial difficulties, Virgin Orbit also lost nine satellites launched from the Cornwall Spaceport in England on January 9.

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