Fireside Chat with Shai Weiss, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Atlantic Limited, moderated by Dominic Rushe, The Guardian
Shai Weiss is Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Atlantic and an Executive Director of the Virgin Atlantic board. Shai joined Virgin Atlantic as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in July 2014 from Virgin Management Ltd, where he had been an Investment Partner since 2012 and was a Founding Partner of Virgin Green Fund. In January 2017 Shai assumed the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer responsible for shaping the airline’s strategic position in the market, driving opportunities for new revenue, and leading the loyalty, alliances and marketing programs that distinguish the airline. In January 2019, Shai took up the role of Chief Executive Officer. Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, Shai led Virgin Atlantic through the crisis and delivered the privately funded, solvent recapitalization of the airline and holiday business in September 2020. Through his role at Virgin Group Shai has been a member of the Virgin Atlantic board from summer 2012.
Shai has extensive financial and operational expertise. Prior to joining Virgin Group, he held several senior management positions at ntl:Telewest (now Virgin Media), the UK and Europe’s largest cable operator. Shai was part of the turn-around of ntl with roles including Managing Director of Consumer Products, Director of Operations, and Director of Financial Planning for the Consumer division. Shai was also behind the merger between Virgin Mobile UK and ntl:Telewest and the re-brand to Virgin Media.
Prior to ntl, Shai established the European office of early-stage technology venture fund JVP and was a senior associate with Morgan Stanley.
Shai also serves as a non-executive director of Checkpoint Software Technologies, a leading provider of cyber security solutions to governments and corporate enterprises globally.
Shai holds an MBA from Columbia University in New York and a BBA from City University of New York, Baruch College. He resides in London with his wife and two sons, attends Arsenal games whenever he can, reads The New Yorker magazine from cover to cover and attempts to play basketball.
Dominic Rushe is the US business editor of The Guardian. Born in the UK, he came to the US in 2001 to cover the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and has lived here ever since. He was part of the Guardian team that won the 2014 Pulitzer prize for public service journalism.
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