Richard Branson has announced his resignation as Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One in a company statement released on Monday.
Virgin Hyperloop has plans to build a supersonic transport system in the United Arab Emirates, among other projects.
According to a Financial Times report published last week Saudi Arabia had terminated a planned deal with Virgin Hyperloop One after Branson halted investment talks with Riyadh over the Jamal Khashoggi affair.
Virgin Hyperloop One, however, has made no comment of that in its statement on Branson’s resignation.
“At this stage in the company’s evolution, I feel it needs a more hands-on Chair, who can focus on the business and these opportunities,” the statement quoted Branson as saying.
“It will be difficult for me to fulfil that commitment as I already devote significant time to my philanthropic ventures and the many business within the Virgin Group.”
The largest shareholder in the company is Dubai’s DP World which said in a statement release yesterday:
“Following the announcement by Virgin Hyperloop One (VH1) of the resignation of Sir Richard Branson as its Chairman, the company will now look for a new Chairman to take it to the next chapter of its evolution as a leader in Hyperloop technology”.
Commenting on the announcement, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sualyem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, the biggest investors in Hyperloop technology, said: “As the first major investor in Jeddah port 20 years ago we are committed to supporting the Kingdom’s effort to grow its economy.
Trade and infrastructure are key pillars in enabling growth supported by technology and automation and we are working closely with the Saudi government to explore new opportunities for development.
“As partners with them, we are committed to supporting the Saudi Vision 2030 launched last year by HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.”
Mr. Bin Sulayem who is also a board member of Virgin Hyperloop One, added:” We aim to add value to nations for the long term, delivering innovative and sustainable solutions for the benefit of all.
“DP World is the largest shareholder in Virgin Hyperloop One because we see the need for a hyperloop-enabled cargo network under the CargoSpeed brand, launched earlier this year, to support rapid, on-demand deliveries globally.
“This technology serves our vision to enable smarter trade globally.”
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