Executive Management

Michael Colglazier, CEO

Michael A. Colglazier is the CEO of Virgin Galactic Holdings, a vertically-integrated aerospace and space travel company. Virgin Galactic is at the forefront of commercial space exploration and the development of technology that will change the way we travel across the globe in the future.

Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Michael served as President and Managing Director of Disney Parks International. Previously, Michael was the President of The Disneyland Resort in Southern California. Michael had an extensive career at Disney spanning over 30 years, where he drove new businesses and growth strategies across the world with a focus on product innovation and customer growth.

Michael is highly experienced in leading both large workforces and start-up teams to deliver business performance and growth. He has considerable commercial and managerial experience and a proven track record of successfully commercializing new and innovative products into world-class consumer experiences.

Michael is active in the community, currently serving as Chairman of the CEO Roundtable for the University of California, Irvine, and as a member of the Engineering Advisory Board of Rice University. He is also a past commissioner and member of the executive committee of the California Travel and Tourism Commission.

Michael graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

George Whitesides, Chief Space Officer

George T. Whitesides is the Chief Space Officer of Virgin Galactic, where he spearheads the development of future technologies, including high speed point to point travel and orbital travel. He also serves as the Chair of the Company’s Space Advisory Board.

George joined Virgin Galactic in 2010 as Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s wholly-owned subsidiary and manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles. During George’s 10 years with the Company, he built the Company from 30 people to a workforce of over 900 today, successfully guiding Virgin Galactic through its human space flight R&D and flight test program, culminating in two space flights. These historic flights saw the first humans launched into space from US soil since the retirement of the Space Shuttle, as well as the first woman to fly on a commercial space vehicle. George led the transition of operations from Mojave, California to Spaceport America, New Mexico, and oversaw the Company’s successful public listing making it a multi-billion dollar company and creating the world’s first publicly traded human spaceflight venture.

Prior to Virgin Galactic, George served as Chief of Staff for NASA. Upon departure from the American space agency, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award the agency confers.

George’s volunteer service includes boards of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (Vice Chair), Caltech’s Space Innovation Council, the Antelope Valley Board of Trade, Princeton University’s Advisory Council for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies (previously as co-chair). He is a fellow of the UK Royal Aeronautical Society and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

He previously served as chair of the Reusable Launch Vehicle Working Group for the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of Virgin Galactic, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton University and the Board of Virgin Unite USA. George has testified on American space policy before the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. An honors graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, George later earned a master’s degree in geographic information systems and remote sensing from the University of Cambridge, and a Fulbright Scholarship to Tunisia. George is a licensed private pilot and certified parabolic flight coach.

He resides in Lancaster, California with his wife Loretta and two children.

Jon Campagna, CFO

Jon joined Virgin Galactic in October 2015, and is responsible for finance matters for both Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company. Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Jon was the Controller at ICON Aircraft, a light sport aircraft manufacturer. During his tenure at ICON, Jon helped transition the organization from a research and development centric organization to a full production environment.

Prior to joining ICON, Jon held various financial leadership positions at Ericsson, the Swedish telecommunications provider, both in the US and in Europe. Prior to joining Ericsson, Jon was the Group Controller at Tandberg Television, where he was a key member of the M&A team, which led to the successful acquisition by Ericsson. Previous to Tandberg Television, Jon was the Controller at GoldPocket Interactive, a media software provider that was acquired by Tandberg Television. Jon started his career in the audit advisory services practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Orange County, California.

Jon holds a CPA License (Inactive) in the State of California and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Enrico Palermo, COO & President of The Spaceship Company

Enrico is responsible for leading the growing day-to-day operations of The Spaceship Company (TSC). Enrico joined Virgin Galactic in 2006 and as TSC’s first employee led TSC’s establishment from a business plan concept to a thriving spaceship manufacturing operation with over 350 employees spread over a large campus in Mojave, California – the first dedicated engineering, manufacturing and flight test enterprise in Virgin Group.

Enrico has a Bachelor of Engineering in mechanical engineering and Bachelor of Science in physics and applied mathematics from the University of Western Australia. Upon receipt of a scholarship from the European Space Agency, Enrico studied at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France completing the university’s intensive Space Studies Program. Enrico brings a wealth of operations leadership, engineering, technology transfer, intellectual property, financial analysis and business planning experience from a variety of industries internationally. A very motivated individual, Enrico moved his family from Perth, Australia to London, England, and then to Mojave, in pursuit of his lifelong ambition and dream of making human spaceflight more accessible to all.

Michael P. Moses, President, Space Missions and Safety

Mike oversees the commercial human spaceflight program. He leads the team in all aspects of safe and successful spaceline operations, including WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo vehicle processing, flight planning, astronaut training, and flight crew operations.

Mike came to Virgin Galactic following a distinguished career with NASA. From 2008 through July 2011, he served at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as the Launch Integration Manager, where he led all space shuttle processing activities from landing through launch. Mike also chaired the Mission Management Team where he provided ultimate shuttle launch decision authority. Other NASA experience includes working as a Flight Director at the Johnson Space Center, where he led teams of flight controllers in the planning, training, and execution of space shuttle missions. Before being selected as a Flight Director in 2005, Mike had more than 10 years of experience as a flight controller in the Shuttle Propulsion and Electrical Systems Groups.

Mike attended Purdue University, earning a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering. He also earned a master’s degree in space sciences from Florida Institute of Technology. He is a two-time recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, as well as other NASA commendations and awards.

Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director

Stephen is the Commercial Director for Virgin Galactic, joining the company as its first full-time employee in 2004, with responsibility for laying the commercial foundations and framework for the organization, including spearheading ongoing sales, business development, marketing, public relations, licensing, partnerships, and customer retention initiatives.

Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Stephen worked for Gartmore Investment Management, a major London-based investment management firm, where he performed a number of management and senior management activities for more than 15 years. At Gartmore, his roles focused on the company’s relationship with sophisticated institutional and high net worth clients and prospective clients.

Michelle Kley, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, GENERAL COUNSEL AND SECRETARY OF VIRGIN GALACTIC HOLDINGS, INC.

Michelle Kley is the Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. Michelle is responsible for overseeing all legal affairs for Virgin Galactic Holdings and its subsidiaries, including corporate governance, securities law and NYSE compliance, M&A activity and strategic transactions. She also acts as Corporate Secretary and advises the board of directors. She leads a team who manages the day to day legal and compliance matters of the operating subsidiaries.

Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Michelle was the Senior Vice President, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer and Secretary of Maxar Technologies Inc., a space infrastructure and Earth intelligence company. Prior to joining Maxar, Michelle worked as a Corporate Associate for several law firms in San Francisco, including Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati P.C. and Morrison & Foerster LLP.

Michelle serves as the volunteer General Counsel for the Association of Space Explorers, a non-profit organization with a membership composed of people who have completed at least one Earth orbit in space. She is a member the International Institute of Space law and is on the board of directors of its US affiliate, the US Center for Space Law. She previously served as a member of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES) and was the chair of the Remote Sensing Regulatory Reform Working Group.

Michelle graduated from University of California Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall) with a J.D. degree and from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Michelle is admitted to practice in the State of California and District of Columbia. She is based in our Los Angeles office.

Diane Prins Sheldahl, Executive Vice President of People and Organization, Virgin Galactic Holdings

Diane Prins Sheldahl is the Executive Vice President of People and Organization for Virgin Galactic Holdings. Diane is responsible for leading the Company’s people organization for both VG and The Spaceship Company (TSC). Her team is responsible for VG’s and TSC’s organizational design and effectiveness, global human capital strategy and execution of human resources (HR) strategic initiatives.

Diane has over 20 years’ experience in executive leadership roles in HR, as well as in organizational design and effectiveness for start-ups, high growth, and Fortune 50 companies across various high-tech, emerging and mature industries. 

Prior to working at Virgin Galactic, Diane held prominent HR positions at Abbott Laboratories, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, SpaceX and most recently Calix, Inc. At Calix, Inc, as Senior Vice President, Talent and Culture, she led all aspects of human resources and the workplace experience.

She earned her MBA from University California, Irvine and a Bachelor’s in Industrial Relations from Syracuse University, New York.