Richard Branson is quitting as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, Stating the Firm, that plans to build a supersonic transport system from the United Arab Emirates and other countries, needs a more actively Concerned leader, the Company said on Monday.
The Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia had terminated a planned deal with Virgin Hyperloop One after Branson halted investment discussions with Riyadh over the Jamal Khashoggi event.
The company made no reference to this in its statement on Monday.
“At this phase in the company’s development, I believe it needs a hands-on Chair, that will concentrate on the business and these opportunities,” the statement quoted Branson as stating.
“It is going to be hard for me to fulfil that commitment like I already devote significant time for my philanthropic ventures and the many business within the Virgin Group.”
Virgin Hyperloop One’s biggest shareholder, Dubai’s DP World, said the company was looking for a new chairman.
Before this month Branson stated his Virgin Group would suspend discussions with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund within a projected $1 billion (approximately Rs. 7,400 crores) investment in the group’s space ventures, in light of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was killed within the consulate in Istanbul.
Branson also suspended his directorship in two Saudi tourism jobs around the Red Sea.