UK based small launch developer Orbex is undergoing a change in leadership.
The company’s co-founder and (now former) CEO, Chris Larmour, said on LinkedIn that he will no longer lead the startup as it races to its initial launch sometime this year.
His LinkedIn post suggests the departure was mutual: “I feel like I’ve taken [Orbex] as far as I personally can, and now is the time to step back and let others take the company to the next level.” But there’s no question that a great leader leaving a company at such a pivotal point in its development—in this case, just before the first test of its microlauncher, Prime—suggests a more awkward exit.
The news is all the more puzzling since Orbex had a slew of positive news announcements last year. In October, the company secured $45.8 million in Series C financing led by a new investor, the Scottish National Investment Bank, a vote of confidence from the government. The following month, Orbex said it had signed a lease with a Scottish developer to build a launch site near Sutherland, in northern Scotland.
It is unclear who will act as interim CEO as the company searches for its next head. businessupdates.org has reached out to Orbex and will update the story if they respond.
Orbex is one of the best-funded rocket startups in Europe, raising nearly £100 million ($124 million) since its inception in 2015. The company was only recently surpassed in March by German startup Isar Aerospace.