Sir Richard Branson Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Richard Branson is quitting as chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, saying the company, which plans to build a supersonic transport system in the United Arab Emirates and other countries, needs a more actively involved leader, the firm said on Monday.

The Financial Times reported last week that Saudi Arabia had terminated a planned deal with Virgin Hyperloop One.

The company made no reference to that in its statement on Monday.

"At this stage in the company's evolution, I feel it needs a more hands-on Chair, who can focus on the business and these opportunities," the statement quoted Branson as saying.

"It will be difficult for me to fulfil that commitment as I already devote significant time to my philanthropic ventures and the many business within the Virgin Group." Virgin Hyperloop One's biggest shareholder, Dubai's DP World , said the company was seeking a new chairman.