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SpaceX fires employees who wrote letter slamming Musk’s “embarrassing” behavior

A SpaceX logo seen on the outside of its headquarters building.
Enlarge / SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, on April 19, 2022.

Getty Pictures | Bloomberg

SpaceX has reportedly fired no less than 5 staff who circulated a letter that urged firm executives to sentence CEO Elon Musk’s public habits.

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell defined the firings in an e-mail to employees, in accordance with a New York Times article. “The letter, solicitations and common course of made staff really feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or offended as a result of the letter pressured them to signal onto one thing that didn’t replicate their views,” Shotwell wrote, in accordance with the NYT. “We’ve got an excessive amount of crucial work to perform and no want for this sort of overreaching activism.”

Shotwell’s e-mail to employees additionally stated, “Blanketing 1000’s 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 just not acceptable.” Shotwell urged staff to “keep centered on the SpaceX mission, and use your time to do your greatest work. That is how we are going to get to Mars.”

Reuters reported that the variety of fired staff was no less than 5.

Letter cited allegation towards Musk

The inner letter drafted by staff was circulated inside SpaceX on Wednesday and revealed in an article by The Verge. The letter stated SpaceX executives ought to “publicly tackle and condemn Elon’s dangerous Twitter habits” and that the corporate “should swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s private model.”

The letter referred to as out “latest allegations towards our CEO and his public disparagement of the state of affairs,” a reference to a Business Insider report final month that SpaceX “paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct declare” towards Musk in 2018. Musk denied the allegation, and Shotwell defended him in a company-wide e-mail.

“Personally, I consider the allegations to be false; not as a result of I work for Elon, however as a result of I’ve labored intently with him for 20 years and by no means seen nor heard something resembling these allegations,” Shotwell wrote to employees on the time, according to CNBC.

Musk’s habits referred to as a “supply of embarrassment”

The worker letter that led to the firings stated that “Elon’s habits within the public sphere is a frequent supply of distraction and embarrassment for us, significantly in latest weeks.” The letter accused the corporate of not making use of its insurance policies equally to executives and staff, writing that “SpaceX should set up secure avenues for reporting and uphold clear repercussions for all unacceptable habits, whether or not from the CEO or an worker beginning their first day.”

The letter was a results of a collaboration by “staff throughout the spectra of gender, ethnicity, seniority, and technical roles,” it stated. The letter requested an in-person assembly with executives to debate the workers’ requests.

“Our distinctive place requires us to think about how our actions right now will form the experiences of people past our planet. Is the tradition we’re fostering now the one which we purpose to deliver to Mars and past?” the letter requested.

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