Virgin Galactic Holdings (the “Company” or “Virgin Galactic”), a vertically integrated aerospace and space travel company, today announced that veteran human resources executive Aparna Chitale will join the company as its Chief People Officer (CPO) on September 30, 2021.
Chitale brings over 20 years of strategic experience at multi-national organizations, where she has scaled and led global teams at both public and privately held companies. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Human Resources at Disney Parks Experiences and Products.
Michael Colglazier, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic, said, “I’m delighted to welcome Aparna to the Virgin Galactic team. She has an outstanding track record building and supporting highly skilled teams across engineering, maintenance, safety, and technical services. Aparna also brings deep experience hiring and developing top talent in global destinations around the world to support rapid growth. This unique background, combined with her proven ability to foster a high-performance culture rooted in a diverse and inclusive work environment, will support Virgin Galactic’s ambitious growth strategy.”
As CPO, Chitale will report to Colglazier, with the mission to make the Company a destination for top talent. In this role, she will lead all aspects of human resources, including diversity, equity & inclusion, talent acquisition, employee experience, learning & development, compensation & benefits.
“I’m thrilled to join Virgin Galactic at such a significant time in the company’s journey,” said Chitale. “I am passionate about building energized and dedicated teams and creating a culture where everyone belongs. I look forward to being a part of this exceptional company as it continues to make history in the rapidly growing human spaceflight industry.”
At Disney, Chitale led HR strategy for the company’s International Parks business in Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo, as well as leading HR for Disney’s Engineering, Maintenance, and Safety teams. In this role, she designed and implemented holistic people strategies – including diversity and inclusion programming – that supported business priorities across corporate functions, engineering, international parks, and cruise line businesses.
Prior to Disney, Chitale led Human Resources for Avaya India PVT Ltd, where she built the HR infrastructure that helped grow the business from 50 to 1,200+ employees with a strategic focus on building large engineering and technology teams.
Chitale holds a master’s degree in Personal Management and Industrial Relations from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India, and a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) degree from Pune University, India.