SpaceX fired employees involved in a reprimand letter to Elon Musk

SpaceX, a private rocket company, fired employees who helped write and distribute on Thursday open letter criticizing CEO Elon Musk’s behavior, said three officials familiar with the situation.

Some SpaceX employees began distributing the letter condemning Mr. Musk’s Twitter activity on Wednesday. The letter called the billionaire’s public behavior and tweeted “a common source of distraction and embarrassment” and asked the company to control it. Mr. It’s Musk right now completion of a $ 44 billion deal to buy Twitter.

By Thursday afternoon, SpaceX had fired some of the organizers of the letter, according to the three employees, and an email from Gwyn Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX. In an email to The New York Times, she said the company was investigating and “firing a number of employees involved” with the letter.

“The letters, the requests and the general process made the employees feel uncomfortable, scared and harassed and / or angry because the letter forced them to sign something that did not reflect their views,” she said. Shotwell wrote. “We have too much critical work to do and there is no need for this kind of excessive activism.”

It is not clear how many employees have been fired. James Gleeson, a spokesman for SpaceX, did not immediately return a request for comment.

The open letter followed recently published allegations of sexual violence against Mr. Musk amid his controversial acquisition of Twitter. On Thursday, Mr. Musk turned to Twitter staff for the first time since his offer to take over by video call to answer their questions.

In May, Inside information reported that the flight attendant said Mr. Musk offered her a sexual massage during a flight to London in 2016. The flight attendant said that he also exposed himself to her and offered her a horse, according to the article, the details of which have not been confirmed by The Times.

Mr. Musk called the allegations “completely untrue“And he joked about his horses and his genitals on Twitter. Last month, Miss. Shotwell said c email to SpaceX employees that she “personally” believes the allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Musk was fake.

In SpaceX, Mr. Musk is rarely challenged by his own workers, said the three employees, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Earlier this month, he notified company employees by email that they must spend at least 40 hours in the office or shooting in the face.

The open letter for Mr. Musk’s online activities asked SpaceX leaders to “publicly address and condemn Elon’s harmful behavior on Twitter” and “to define and respond equally to all forms of unacceptable behavior.”

In your email to the staff, ma’am. Shotwell writes: “Covering thousands of people across the company with repeated spam and asking them to sign letters and fill out unsponsored surveys on weekdays is not acceptable.

“Please stay focused on SpaceX’s mission and use your time to do your best,” she continued. “Here’s how we get to Mars.”

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