SpaceX fires staff who wrote open letter complaining about Musk

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

The open letter, first reported by the sting, described Musk’s habits as “a frequent supply of distraction and embarrassment for us, notably in latest weeks.” He cites SpaceX’s “No Asshole” coverage and calls on the corporate to “publicly deal with and condemn Elon’s damaging Twitter habits.”

The authors of the letter mentioned: “As our most distinguished CEO and spokesperson, Elon is seen because the face of SpaceX: each tweet Elon sends is a de facto public assertion from the corporate. It’s vital to make it clear to our groups and our potential pool of expertise that his message doesn’t mirror our work, our mission or our values.”

A number of of the letter’s writers have been fired Thursday afternoon, in response to an e-mail despatched by SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell and seen by the sting. Information of the firing was first reported by The New York Instances.

Within the e-mail, Shotwell mentioned that SpaceX had “terminated a number of staff concerned” in drafting the letter. “The letter, the requests and the general course of made staff really feel uncomfortable, intimidated and harassed and/or indignant that the letter pressured them into signing one thing that didn’t mirror their views,” Shotwell wrote. “We have now an excessive amount of vital work to do and we do not want this sort of far-reaching activism.”

An worker concerned in writing the letter, who requested to stay nameless, argued that the overall sentiment amongst different staff is that the Shotwell e-mail is “tone deaf.” The worker claimed the letter was the results of a “month of devoted arduous work and soliciting suggestions to strive to verify we get as a lot info 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 takeover of Twitter in April, a $44 billion deal that has but to be finalized, his habits has drawn much more consideration. Final month, Effectively-informed particular person reported that SpaceX paid a flight attendant $250,000 after Musk allegedly uncovered himself to her and proposed to her. Musk later joked in regards to the incident on Twitter, telling one other person: “In the event you contact my sausage you may have a horse.”

You’ll be able to learn Shotwell’s e-mail to the corporate under:


Yesterday you will have obtained an unsolicited request from a small group of SpaceX staff to your signature on an “open letter” and your participation in a associated survey. Primarily based on the assorted feedback from staff, this has upset many. That’s, the letter, the purposes, and the general course of made staff really feel uncomfortable, intimidated, and harassed and/or indignant that the letter pressured them into signing one thing that didn’t mirror their views. Staff additionally complained that it interfered with their potential to focus and do their jobs. We have now 3 launches inside 37 hours for vital satellites this weekend, we’ve got to assist the astronauts we ship to the ISS and get the Dragon payload again to flight readiness, and after receiving environmental clearance earlier this week, we’re on the cusp of Starship’s first orbital launch try. We have now an excessive amount of vital work to do and we do not want this sort of far-reaching activism – our present management crew is extra devoted to making sure we’ve got an important and consistently bettering work setting than any I’ve seen in my 35-year profession. .

We request and count on our staff to report all issues to their management, senior administration, human sources, or authorized. However blanketing 1000’s of individuals throughout the corporate with repeated unsolicited emails and asking them to signal letters and full unsponsored surveys throughout enterprise hours is unacceptable, goes towards our documented handbook coverage, and doesn’t present the robust judgment essential to work on this similar difficult sector of area transportation. We performed an investigation and have terminated a number of staff concerned.

I am sorry for this distraction. Keep centered on the SpaceX mission and use your time at work to do your finest work. That is how we’ll get to Mars.


Replace Friday June 17, 4:20 am: The story has been up to date with the total Shotwell letter.

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