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
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
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?
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.
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