The smallsat rocket company Firefly, only a month or so from the first orbital test flight of its Alpha rocket, has drastically changed its board of directors, removing its main financial backer from the Ukraine and replacing him with Americans.
Among those no longer on the board is Firefly’s financial savior, Polyakov, who has dual Ukrainian-British citizenship and lives in Edinburgh. This is a substantial change, as it moves the company’s key financial backer from a role as a decision maker to that of a stockholder. Markusic said Polyakov has the rights of a stockholder but that Firefly’s board now directs the company. Polyakov remains Firefly’s largest shareholder.
“These changes are part of the logical growth and development of Firefly,” Polyakov told Ars. “I’m extremely proud of what we have accomplished to date. Moving forward, I have the utmost confidence in Tom, his team, and the new board members.”
Some concerns had previously been raised about Polyakov’s background. This move, however, is more due to having an all-American board of directors, which should bolster Firefly’s efforts to work with the defense community.
Essentially, the company and Polykov have moved Polykov out of a sensitive position so as to make the company seem more palatable to the federal government. His presence on the board would have likely made it difficult to win any government contracts. Making him in name just a stockholder will reduce that issue.
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