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Mikhail Kokorich resigns his CEO position in Momentus Space
by Clarlie Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Feb 09, 2021


Mikhail Kokorich has had to resign as his company develops dual-use technologies that can be used in civil and military spheres. The US government wants to keep them restricted from foreign access.

As the details became known, Mikhail Kokorich the Russian founder and CEO of the American space startup Momentus Space resigned following publication of materials proving his illegitimate involvement in secret space technologies. The revelation followed the company's announcement that it was to be acquired by a company developed to purchase a startup and take it public.

Momentus' board of directors has decided to accept Kokorich's resignation. It was done "to expedite the resolution of US national security and foreign property issues related to the company," the statement read.

Company Developments at Risk of Disclosure
Quartz uncovered the first security concerns in November 2020. They detailed several points on Kokorich's history in the US. For instance, it stated that before Momentus, the federal government imposed restrictions on Kokorich's satellite company due to the concerns that foreign investors might receive access to technologies that are to be kept strictly secret from foreign rivals.

Furthermore, an investigation was initiated on Kokorich's immigration status. It was followed by restricting his access to the company's technical documentation while he officially remained a CEO. The government was anxious that the potential Momentus public company CEO, as well as investor Lev Khasis, have close relations with Vladimir Putin. Khasis is actually one of the executives at the largest state-owned bank in Russia, currently under the American government's sanctions.

Momentus Plans for Public Trading
In October 2020, Momentus Space announced it was acquired by SRAC (Stable Road Acquisition Corp.). Stable Road Capital intentionally created this company to purchase a startup, but they initially aimed at a cannabis-related business.

With Momentus, the plan was to place shares of a newly-created company on the stock exchange in early 2021. This project made the company's shares grow by 100%, but the latest news collapsed the share price.

What Will Happen to the Company?
The Momentus representative did not comment much on the situation, neither Kororich made any statement. It is only known that the latter officially remains the owner of the company and still holds its shares. Earlier, Kokorich attempted to obtain American citizenship and applied for political asylum. This step would help him regain access to company developments, but it seems to have not panned out at this point.

According to the decision of the Board of Directors, the Chief Revenue Officer of Momentus Dawn Harms will replace Kokorich in the role of a CEO. Previously, she worked for the Boeing company. Dr. Fred Kennedy, who used to be a former space official, and remains the company's president.

Meanwhile, the stumbling point is that Kokorich remains the author of most of Momentus' inventions. And his inability to participate in company activities may significantly affect its business position. In particular, it may be difficult to retain current customers and attract new ones or initiate new developments.

On the other hand, the resignation of Mikhail Kokorich can facilitate specific processes for the company and clear the path to obtaining a license for its spacecraft. Though, it is still to be clarified how the government concerns are going to be settled considering that Kokorich keeps the shares of the startup.

Related Links
Momentus Space
The latest information about the Commercial Satellite Industry

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