SpaceX Fires Employees Behind Letter Criticizing Elon Musk

SpaceX has reportedly fired several employees who were responsible for penning an open letter criticizing the company and its CEO, Elon Musk.

Three employees spoke with the New York Times and shared an email from SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell explaining why the employees were terminated.

“[SpaceX has] terminated a number of employees involved,” Shotwell wrote. “The letter, solicitations and general process made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign onto something that did not reflect their views. We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism.”

Shotwell told employees they should be focused on doing their jobs.

“Blanketing thousands of people across the company with repeated unsolicited emails and asking them to sign letters and fill out unsponsored surveys during the work day is not acceptable. Please stay focused on the SpaceX mission, and use your time to do your best work. This is how we will get to Mars,” she wrote.

It is unclear how many people were fired because of the letter, which blasted Musk for being “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment.” The letter also cited recent accusations of sexual misconduct and Musk’s controversial social media posts. The employees said that “SpaceX must swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s personal brand” and “hold all leadership equally accountable to making SpaceX a great place to work for everyone.”

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