Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc has named former Walt Disney Co executive Michael Colglazier as its new CEO.
The news sent Virgin Galactic’s shares up by 4.3% in extended trade.
Previously, Colglazier was the president and managing director at Disney Parks International. He will replace George Whitesides, who joined the company in 2010 as its first CEO.
In a statement Virgin Galactic said, Whitesides will be stepping down from its board and will take over as its chief space officer.
Both appointments are effective from July 20.
The development comes in the wake of Virgin Galactic announcing in June that it had successfully completed the second test flight of SpaceShipTwo from Spaceport America, as the company prepares for commercial space service.
In the space tourism space, Virgin Atlantic is competing with Amazon.com Inc’s Blue Origin, which offers zero-gravity experiences to customers and has long-term point-to-point space travel plans to quickly transport passengers from city to city at near-space altitudes.