Astra chief engineer Benjamin Lyon resigns from rocket builder


Benjamin Lyon, chief engineer and government vp of engineering and operations


Beleaguered rocket-builder Astra is dropping its extremely touted chief engineer, Benjamin Lyon, the corporate mentioned in a securities submitting Friday.

Lyon resigned from his position as Astra’s chief engineer and government vp of operations and engineering on Monday, the corporate mentioned. The corporate mentioned he’s leaving to pursue one other alternative and that his final day is predicted to be Dec. 27.

In a press release, Astra CEO Chris Kemp thanked Lyon “for his service and contributions.”

“We’re grateful to Benjamin for his stewardship in taking Astra to orbit, and serving to construct a world-class engineering and operations group,” Kemp mentioned.

Shares of Astra had been little modified in pre-market buying and selling, from its earlier shut of 52 cents a share.

After disclosing Lyon’s departure, Astra introduced a quartet of promotions to its administration staff. The 4 new Astra program leads: Giovanni Greco on Launch System Supply, Jonathan Donaldson on Spacecraft Engine Supply, Doug Kunzman on Launch and Take a look at Operations, and Bryson Gentile on Manufacturing.

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Lyon joined Astra in February 2021 from Apple, the place he had labored in growth for merchandise together with the iPhone and Mac.

However Astra is going through an uphill battle after the corporate pivoted away from its Rocket 3.3 automobile after a mid-flight failure, and determined to pause launches to construct a bigger, upgraded rocket. The corporate introduced a layoff of 16% of its workforce on Nov. 11, as it really works to trim working bills because it strikes ahead with growth work.

In October, Astra vp of communications Kati Dahm left the corporate, and final month Chief Monetary Officer Kelyn Brannon transitioned out of her position, with the corporate bringing in Axel Martinez as CFO from Virgin Hyperloop One.

Astra inventory is down 92% this yr as of Thursday’s shut. The corporate obtained a de-listing warning from the Nasdaq in October after its inventory fell under $1 a share. The corporate has till April to carry the inventory worth again above the extent.

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