SpaceX has fired some of the employees involved in drafting and distributing a letter within the company criticizing the behavior of founder and CEO Elon Musk, according to media reports.
The letter was published internally SpaceX A channel of Microsoft Teams, which reaches more than 2600 employees, The Verge reported yesterday (opens in a new section) (June 16). He condemned Musk’s behavior on Twitter and in other public forums as “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, especially in recent weeks.”
The letter attracted a lot of attention, including, apparently, in SpaceX’s executive offices: by yesterday afternoon, the company had already fired some of the people responsible for writing and sending it, The New York Times reported today (opens in a new section) (June 17).
The Times quoted conversations with three SpaceX employees, who wished to remain anonymous, and an email to staff from the company’s president and chief operating officer, Gwyn Shotwell, which the newspaper received. In that email, Shotwell wrote that SpaceX had “terminated a number of employees involved” in the letter, according to The Times.
“The letters, requests and the general process made employees feel uncomfortable, scared and harassed and / or angry because the letter forced them to sign something that did not reflect their views,” Shotwell added, according to The Times. “We have too much critical work to do and there is no need for this kind of excessive activism.”
The Times said it was unclear how many employees had been fired for participating in the letter. Reuters reported today (opens in a new section) that at least five people have been fired, citing “two people familiar with the matter”. SpaceX has not yet responded to requests for comment on the letter and the announced layoffs, both sites said.
Musk is very active on Twitter, which is currently underway buying for $ 44 billion. The richest man in the world, he often publishes on the site, sometimes uses it for makes rude jokes (opens in a new section)express conflicting views on public health (opens in a new section) and to insult the people he is at enmity with (opens in a new section).
Mike Wall is the author of “Out there (opens in a new section)“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow it on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in a new section). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in a new section) or on Facebook (opens in a new section).