VIRGIN orbit adds industry leader jim simpson as chief strategy officer

Renowned strategist joins executive team as Virgin Orbit moves into commercial operations

Virgin Orbit, the California-based responsive space launch company, announced today that Jim Simpson has joined its executive team as the company’s Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). With the company rapidly approaching its second launch demonstration and nearing the start of commercial service, Jim’s addition will help the team keep a laser focus on meeting its commercial and government customers’ needs in the dynamic, global market for responsive launch.

 Jim’s celebrated career in space gives him experience in both the launch and the satellite industries, working with governments, start-ups, and everything in between. He recently wrapped up his tenure as the CEO of Saturn Satellite Networks, where he led the evolution of the geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) field by changing the economics for both emerging developing nations and established organizations in the sector. He has also served as CEO of ABS (formerly Asia Broadcast Satellite), and served as the head of strategy for Aerojet Rocketdyne and Boeing Network and Space Systems.

“We’re very excited to have Jim joining Virgin Orbit,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart. “Jim has run satellite companies, pushed the envelope of what can be done with smallsats, charted out exciting paths for some of the nation’s most successful aerospace businesses, and inked some of the biggest deals in commercial and government space history. It is terrific to welcome him to our team.”

Jim is already closely engaged with Virgin Orbit’s team and its customer community, having served as a member of Virgin Orbit’s board of directors since May 2019.

“I’m incredibly impressed by the new capability that Virgin Orbit is bringing online. In my career, I’ve had a chance to work with a number of incredible rockets, but there is nothing else that can do what LauncherOne can do in terms of being so mobile and flexible, and bringing so much value to customers,” said Jim Simpson. “That’s unlocking a whole new class of missions, and giving customers both new and old a chance to dream up missions and strategies that simply have never been possible before. At Virgin Orbit, we get the opportunity to work with customers around the world to create incredible new things together. It is such an exciting time for our company and for this industry as a whole.”


Virgin Orbit builds and operates the most flexible and responsive satellite launcher ever invented: LauncherOne, a dedicated launch service for commercial and government-built small satellites. LauncherOne rockets are designed and manufactured in Long Beach, California, and will be air-launched from our modified 747-400 carrier aircraft – allowing us to operate from locations all over the world in order to best serve each customer’s needs. Virgin Orbit’s systems are currently in an advanced stage of testing, with initial orbital launches expected soon. To learn more or to apply to join Virgin Orbit’s talented and growing team, visit

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