SpaceX fires staff who wrote open letter complaining about Musk

SpaceX has fired a lot of staff who wrote and shared a letter criticizing the conduct of CEO Elon Musk, with the corporate’s president criticizing the letter as “overreaching activism.”

The open letter, first reported by The Verge, described Musk’s conduct as “a frequent supply of distraction and embarrassment for us, notably in current weeks.” It cites SpaceX’s “No Asshole” coverage and asks the corporate to “publicly deal with and condemn Elon’s dangerous Twitter conduct.”

Stated the letter writers: “As our CEO and most distinguished spokesperson, Elon is seen because the face of SpaceX – each Tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public assertion by the corporate. It’s essential to clarify to our groups and to our potential expertise pool that his messaging doesn’t replicate our work, our mission, or our values. ”

Quite a few the letter’s drafters had been fired Thursday afternoon, based on an e-mail despatched by SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell and seen by The Verge. Information of the firing was first reported by The New York Occasions.

Within the e-mail, Shotwell mentioned SpaceX had “terminated a lot of staff concerned” in crafting the letter. “The letter, solicitations and common course of made staff really feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and / or indignant as a result of the letter pressured them to signal onto one thing that didn’t replicate their views,” wrote Shotwell. “We have now an excessive amount of essential work to perform and no want for this type of overreaching activism.”

One worker who had enter in writing the letter, who requested to stay nameless, argued that the final sentiment amongst different staff is that Shotwell’s e-mail is “tone deaf.” The worker claimed that the letter was the results of a “month of devoted exhausting work and soliciting suggestions to attempt and ensure we bought as a lot enter as potential.”

We have reached out to SpaceX for remark and can replace this story if we hear again.

Musk has lengthy been a risky determine, however since his proposed acquisition of Twitter in April – a $ 44 billion deal that has but to be finalized – his conduct has attracted much more consideration. Final month, Insider reported that SpaceX paid a flight attendant $ 250,000 after Musk allegedly uncovered himself to her and propositioned her. Musk later joked concerning the incident on Twitter, telling one other person “should you contact my wiener, you’ll be able to have a horse.”

You possibly can learn Shotwell’s e-mail to the corporate under:


You might have obtained an unsolicited request from a small group of SpaceX staff to your signature on an “open letter” yesterday and your participation in a associated survey. Based mostly on numerous worker suggestions, this has upset many. That’s, the letter, solicitations and common course of made staff really feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and / or indignant as a result of the letter pressured them to signal onto one thing that didn’t replicate their views. Staff additionally complained that it interfered with their skill to deal with and do their work. We have now 3 launches inside 37 hours for essential satellites this weekend, we have now to assist the astronauts we delivered to the ISS and get cargo Dragon again to the flight-ready, and after receiving environmental approval early this week, we’re on the cusp of the primary orbital launch try of Starship. We have now an excessive amount of essential work to perform and no want for this type of overreaching activism – our present management workforce is extra devoted to making sure we have now an incredible and ever-improving work atmosphere than any I’ve seen in my 35-year profession.

We solicit and count on our staff to report all issues to their management, senior administration, HR, or Authorized. However blanketing hundreds of individuals throughout the corporate with repeated unsolicited emails and asking them to signal letters and fill out unsponsored surveys through the work day is unacceptable, goes towards our documented handbook coverage, and doesn’t present the robust judgment wanted to work on this very difficult house transportation sector. We carried out an investigation and have terminated a lot of staff concerned.

I’m sorry for this distraction. Please keep targeted on the SpaceX mission, and use your time at work to do your greatest work. That is how we are going to get to Mars.


Replace Friday 17 June, 4:20 AM: The story has been up to date with Shotwell’s full letter.

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