Virgin Orbit went on hiatus on Wednesday as the aerospace company reportedly seeks funding to keep it afloat.
Company executives told staff in a 5 p.m. “all hands on deck” meeting that operations closed for a weekduring which time nearly all workers will be furloughed without pay.
Furloughed workers will be allowed to collect PTO pay to make ends meet, according to CNBC, which broke the story, citing sources who attended that meeting.
The company, which launched in 2017, is a satellite service that operates within the Virgin Group.
Virgin Orbit said it expects to update employees on the status of the company after the middle of next week. The company’s share prices, which have been falling since the close of 2021, fell 10% on Wednesday.
The company bills himself as “the leading dedicated small-satellite launch service,” stating that it has “a mission to open space for everyone.”
Tech job losses have been rampant in 2023. Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, announced this week that it planned to lay off more than 10,000 employees in the coming months. Spotify, Twilio and Google parent company Alphabet have also parted ways with thousands of workers in recent months.
( Meta will lay off more than 10,000 employees, says Mark Zuckerberg )
Virgin Orbit was founded by billionaire businessman Richard Branson, whose Virgin Galactic competes with civilian space programs run by billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
The mood has been considerably lighter at Virgin Orbit in recent days. On March 2, the company celebrated its birthday on Twitter.
“Cue the confetti, today is our birthday!” they wrote. “On this day, 6 years ago, we officially established our name, and the rest is history. We’ve come this far.