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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Richard Branson steps down as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One

The founder of Virgin Group says the position requires a more 'hands-on chair'

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, has resigned from his post as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One. Robyn Beck / AFP
Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, has resigned from his post as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One. Robyn Beck / AFP

Sir Richard Branson has resigned from his post as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One.

The billionaire Briton, who founded Virgin Group, said he was stepping down because the position required more time than he could give.

DP World, the futuristic transportation company's biggest shareholder, issued a statement announcing Mr Branson's resignation on Monday.

"Sir Richard played a significant role in the growth and development of the company. He will remain a significant supporter of VH1. The company is in a strong position and therefore it is time for a new full-time chairman to lead the next chapter of VH1," the statement read.

Mr Branson said he accepted the role of chairman last year to help the Los Angeles company through a transitional period.

As chairman, he secured transport agreements with India and Spain and began working with a number of US states to develop hyperloop technology – which uses magnetic levitation and low-pressure tubes to achieve aircraft-like speeds.

The company aims to build a network of high-speed pods in the UAE, India, Spain and the US.

“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," Mr Branson said.

"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.”

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