XCOR Aerospace Laying Off All Employees
XCOR Aerospace, a private company that was in the process of developing reusable rocket engines, has announced that it will be laying off all of its employees because it lost funding from the United Launch Alliance (ULA).
In a public statement, the company confirmed that all of the employees are being terminated due to “adverse financial conditions” being faced by the company.
This is the second round of layoffs within a year. In the first round, the company laid off about 50% of its workforce, cutting it from around 50 employees to just 25. In the latest round of cuts, all of the remaining 25 employees have been let go.
However, management says that the company is exploring its options to stay alive. In order to save its intellectual property, some employees will be brought back on a contractual basis.
The company’s troubles began when, one after another, top executives started jumping ship. Three top executives exited the company back in 2015 and went on to start up their own space company. Last month, the company’s most recent CEO, Jay Gibson, also left when he was offered an opportunity at the Pentagon.
XCOR’s biggest bet was its “Lynx” project, under which it was building a two-seat spacecraft for space tourism. The rocket plane would only be able to carry two people: one pilot and one passenger.
The company had entered into a contract with the ULA, which is an aerospace joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corporation and Boeing Co. Under the contract with ULA, XCOR was to receive funding for the Lynx project.
However, Blum has confirmed that XCOR lost its contract with the ULA, following which the layoffs have been announced. Blum has also indicated that the company is now open to become an acquisition target for any interested space company.
XCOR Aerospace was competing with the other privately owned aerospace companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin. However, after having lost nearly all of its top leadership, the company’s future was left in jeopardy.
“XCOR Aerospace lays off all employees, throwing rocket projects into limbo,” GeekWire, July 6, 2017.
“XCOR Aerospace Lays Off Entire Staff But Intends To Keep Going,” Forbes, July 7, 2017.